Issue 23

Budget Study Centre Issue 23
Sep 13, 2018


Fortnightly Budget News Alerts


Govt aims to cut privileges in mini budget

The Express Tribune (Sep 13, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: The government has postponed the National Assembly session that it had convened to present mini-budget till next week, amid plans to withdraw tax free privileges being availed by the president, governors and federal ministers. “The decision to present the revised Finance Bill in the National Assembly on Friday has been deferred due to the funeral of Begum Kulsum Nawaz,” Finance Minister Asad Umar told The Express Tribune .…Read More


Foreign investors seek review of CPEC, free trade deals

The Express Tribune (Sep 13, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: An advocacy group of multinational companies working in Pakistan has advised the government to review the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and free trade agreements (FTA) in order to provide a level playing field for all stakeholders. The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) has made these recommendations to Finance Minister Asad Umar. Foreign investors have.…Read More


Business Advisory Council on the cards

The Express Tribune (Sep 12, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Finance and Revenue Asad Umar said on Tuesday that the government was holding consultation for setting up the Business Advisory Council to establish direct liaison between the government and business community in a bid to make Pakistan a regional hub for investors. Speaking to a delegation of the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI), led by its President Irfan Wahab Khan, Umar said latest.…Read More


Balochistan cabinet approves Rs8b plan to bloster levies

The Express Tribune (Sep 12, 2018)

QUETTA: The cabinet of Chief Minister Jam Kamal on Tuesday approved a Rs8 billion plan for the restructuring and strengthening of Levies Force, to be completed in four phases. The provincial cabinet took the decision after reviewing the recommendation made by the Levies DG. Briefing the cabinet members, the DG Levies said the force needed modern training to handle the security challenges, especially in the remote …..…Read More


Trade deficit shrinks as exports grow faster than imports

The Express Tribune (Sep 12, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s trade deficit shrank to $6.2 billion in first two months of the current fiscal year as the pace of growth in exports beat the increase in imports, indicating government’s administrative measures have started yielding results. The trade deficit for July-August was 1.3% lower than the deficit recorded in the same period of previous fiscal year, reported the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Tuesday.…Read More


Govt set to deprive salaried employees of tax relief in mini budget

The Express Tribune (Sep 12, 2018)

The government has decided to introduce a mini budget with the prices of several items expected to rise. It was decided that major amendments will be made to the finance bill in an attempt to increase revenue generation. The summary of the mini-budget has been prepared and is set to be presented during the federal cabinet meeting. After the approval of the summary, the mini-budget will be shared in the National Assembly on September 14.…Read More


French 2018 budget deficit to rise, but respect EU limit

The Business Recorder (Sep 11, 2018)

PARIS: France’s budget deficit will rise next year but stay below the European Union’s limit of 3 percent of economic output, according to figures given by Finance Ministry officials on Tuesday. Next year’s budget, which is due to be published at the end of this month, foresees the public deficit rising to 2.8 percent of gross domestic product next year after 2.6 percent this year, the ministry officials said. Respecting the EU deficit limit is the cornerstone of President …Read More


CPEC is Pakistan’s economic future, says Gen Qamar

The Express Tribune (Sep 11, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: A day after a controversial interview of a key government adviser cast doubts over future of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa assured the Chinese envoy that the CPEC is Pakistan’s economic future and its security will not be compromised. The assurance came during Gen Qamar’s meeting with the Chinese ambassador, who visited the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi …Read More


IMF’s staff-level team to arrive by month-end

The Express Tribune (Sep 11, 2018)

Prime Minister Imran Khan reconstituted the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) on September 1 to resolve the economic crisis of the country. Chaired by the PM himself, the 18-member economic council aims to function as a regulatory body which will advise the government on both “short-term macroeconomic stabilisation interventions” and “long-term structural reforms for stable and sustained economic development”. …Read More

UK growth will slow to 1.3% amid Brexit uncertainty- KPMG

The Guardian (Sep 10, 2018)

A sharp fall in consumer spending and business investment is expected to drag Britain’s growth rate down to just 1.3% this year, dispelling hopes that the UK’s sluggish rate of expansion in the first six months will recover in the second half of the year. According to the consultancy KPMG, Brexit uncertainty will take a bigger toll on the economy than many forecasters, including the Bank of England, expect following a slump in consumer …Read More

Trump threatens new tariffs on $267bn of Chinese goods

The Guardian (Sep 8, 2018)

Donald Trump has said he has a new tranche of tariffs ready to place on virtually all Chinese goods, as Apple warned the trade war will make its products more expensive for American consumers. A package of tariffs was already close to being imposed on $200bn worth of Chinese goods imported to the US, Trump said, while suggesting a further package, worth $267bn, could also be imposed, which would sharply …. …Read More


Govt to revise ‘unrealistic’ annual budget

The Nation (Sep 7, 2018)

ISLAMABAD – In a major decision, the PTI-led federal government has decided to revise the annual budget for the ongoing fiscal year what the government termed unrealistic. The government disclosed it during a meeting of newly-formed Economic Advisory Council (EAC), which met under the chair of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The meeting was attended by independent economists as well as heads of economic ministries and…Read More


Italy’s top ministers look to reassure markets over 2019 budget

The Times of Malta (Sep 5, 2018)

Italy’s top ministers issued a barrage of statements on Wednesday to reassure financial markets over the government’s forthcoming budget, promising to keep state accounts in check and maintain economic stability. The concerted charm campaign helped push Italian bond yields to their lowest in almost a month, as hopes grew that the coalition, comprising the rightist League and anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, would respect European Union budget discipline. "Clearly we will not do everything …Read More


No woman made the cut for PM Khan’s economic advisory council?

The Pakistan Today (Sep 3, 2018)

Prime Minister Imran Khan reconstituted the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) on September 1 to resolve the economic crisis of the country. Chaired by the PM himself, the 18-member economic council aims to function as a regulatory body which will advise the government on both “short-term macroeconomic stabilisation interventions” and “long-term structural reforms for stable and sustained economic development”. …Read More


US economy grows in Q2 at fastest rate in nearly four years

The Times of Malta (Sep 2, 2018)

US second quarter economic growth was stronger than previously estimated, as gross domestic product (i.e. the value of all goods and services produced across the economy) rose at a 4.2 per cent annual rate, according to a report by the Commerce Department. This marked the strongest growth rate in nearly four years. The agency had earlier estimated the second-quarter growth at a 4.1 per cent annual rate. Economists expected an unchanged …Read More


Deal on free trade pact likely in Nov

The Express Tribune (Sep 2, 2018)

SINGAPORE: Broad agreement is expected to be reached at a leaders’ summit in Singapore in November, the city-state’s trade minister said on Saturday. The 16-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which will cover about half the world’s population and a third of its GDP, has taken centre stage as Washington embarks on a unilateral, protectionist agenda. The RCEP is backed by China and notably excludes the US, which had been leading another.…Read More


FBR’s tax collection grows 14% to Rs506 billion

The Express Tribune (Sep 01, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has collected Rs506 billion in taxes in the first two months of the current fiscal year as the government scrambles to search for new avenues for revenue receipts in an attempt to reduce the projected budget deficit to less than 5% of the national economy. Provisional tax collection in July-August FY19 stood at Rs506 billion, according to FBR officials. It was Rs62 billion or 14% higher than the …Read More


Pakistan needs $9b for running domestic economy: Umar

The Express Tribune (Aug 31, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan needs $9 billion to run the country’s economic affairs, Finance Minister Asad Umar told the Senate on Friday He said Pakistan was facing an adverse economic situation because of flawed policies of previous governments. “We are deliberating on (various) options. We will map out a plan over the next few days and we will share it with the parliament,” the finance minister said. The parliament, he said, would decide whether or not the..…Read More


FBR reforms to be discussed in next cabinet meeting

The DAWN by Mubarak Zeb Khan (Aug 28, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: The government is gearing up to launch a drastic reform plan for the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) with the objectives of enhancing revenue collection and promoting equity and transparency in the tax machinery. Dawn has learnt that the plan is in advanced stages, but nobody at the FBR is aware of it. “We have moved a summary to the cabinet for introducing reforms in the FBR” Finance Minister Asad Umar told Dawn on Monday. The cabinet is.…Read More


Balochistan’s budget deficit quandary

The DAWN by Nasir Jamal (Aug 27, 2018)

FINANCING its large budget deficit of approximately Rs62 billion for the present financial year remains the main concern of the new Jam Kamal Khan government in Balochistan, says a senior provincial official. “We are facing a big hole in our planned public development investment for the ongoing fiscal year,” Qamar Masood, Balochistan’s finance secretary, told this correspondent from Quetta over the telephone. “We don’t have a solution.…Read More


Budget deficit widens to record Rs2.26tr in FY18

The Express Tribune (Aug 26, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan booked the highest-ever budget deficit of Rs2.26 trillion in the last fiscal year due to expansionary fiscal policies in an election year and poor performance of tax machinery, throwing the country into a deeper debt trap. In its annual consolidated federal and provincial budgetary operations report, the Ministry of Finance reported that the budget deficit widened to Rs2.26 trillion in fiscal year..…Read More