Issue 33

Budget Study Centre   Issue 33
Feb 07, 2019


Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

NFC forms six panels to sort out thorny issues

The Express Tribune (Feb 07, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The National Finance Commission on Wednesday set up six working groups to thrash out the thorny issues amid Sindh’s objections to the constitutional and legal status of the Commission and the 6th population census. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah also sought a cut in the vertical share of the Centre to the extent of fiscal resources that the federal government was earlier spending on erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) which… Read More

Budget 2019-20: A Budget for a ‘new India’

The Financial Express (Feb 07, 2019)

The Interim Budget of 2019-20, the last one of the government before the Lok Sabha polls, was always headed towards being populist in nature. The interim finance minister, Piyush Goyal, started off on a very positive note, and proudly stated that the current government has prepared the foundation for sustainable growth, progress and better quality of life for all the Indians. In his Budget speech, he also highlighted some of the key measures taken by the … Read More

70 pc of Pakistan’s economy is informal, which is of high concern: PBIF

The Nation (Feb 06, 2019)

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said that as per International Labour Organization, the informal economy is accounted for more than 70 percent of the employment in main jobs outside agriculture sector. The informal economy has observed speedy…Read More

The new budget and after

The Pakistan Today (Feb 06, 2019)

Finally the state minister for revenue – whatever that title means – let slip what everybody in the government had been denying all this time. It turns out that, all things considered, the unique approach of side-stepping – or at least trying to side step – a structural adjustment program with the IMF in favour of bailouts from friendly countries hasn’t quite panned out the way PTI would have hoped. Inflation is already above seven percent, growth is supposed to trickle down to less…Read More

ICCI calls for single tax regime in next budget

The Pakistan Observer (Feb 05, 2019)

Islamabad: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has called upon the government to consider introducing single tax regime in the country that would help reduce taxpayers’ problems. The President of ICCI, Ahmed Hassan Moughal, said at present a businessman have to cope with 47 taxes including sales tax, income tax, withholding taxes, customs & excise duties, EOBI tax, Workers Profit Participation Fund and Workers Welfare…Read More

Non-utilization of allocated budget

The Pakistan Observer (Feb 05, 2019)

This refers to news published in newspapers that departments of Government of Sindh have not completely utilized their funds allocated in the budget-2018/19 which raises questions that why budget is not utilized albeit budget is allocated to each department by Finance Department on the request made by departments based on their anticipated expenditure. It was reported that approximately only 8% or may be little more utilization of allocated budget is made so far…Read More

Aurn Jaitley indicates won’t be back in India to reply to Budget debate

The Economic Times (Feb 03, 2019)

Union Minster Arun Jaitley Sunday said his medical treatment at a US hospital is all over but hinted that he may not return to India in time to reply to the debate on Interim Budget in Parliament. Jaitley, 66, had missed presenting the sixth and final budget of the Narendra Modi government’s present term as he had to fly to the US due to ill health.
In his absence, the charge of the finance ministry was given to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, who on February 1
Read More

Rating agency Moody’s terms Pakistan mini-budget positive for export sector

The (Feb 03, 2019)

ISLAMABAD, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) — A U.S. rating agency Moody termed the Pakistani government’s recently presented mini-budget as “positive” for manufacturing and export-oriented sectors, local media reported Saturday. Moody’s said that the mini-budget will lend much-needed support to enhancing the country’s foreign income and curb the current account deficit, Express News reported. The agency also said that the new budgetary measures weakened the …Read More

China agrees to provide $2.5 billion loan to bolster foreign exchange reserves

The Pakistan Today (Feb 02, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: In a largely expected development, China has agreed to provide $2.5 billion in loans to help bolster Pakistan’s sliding foreign exchange reserves which will be deposited with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). According to a report in an English daily, a top government official has said that China has agreed to park $2.5 billion in deposits in the central bank. This follows the previous $2 billion loan provided by China at the end of July last year to bolster foreign… Read More

Reform package mistaken as mini-budget: Asad

The News (Feb 02, 2019)

Islamabad/Lahore: Federal Minister for Finance Asad Umar on Friday said the mini-budget was in fact an economic reforms package designed to improve the state of the country’s economy. Speaking in the Senate, he said the opposition indulged in point-scoring in his absence and whenever he was present in the House to answer their questions, they were absent. The minister highlighted the improved environment in the stock market last month, explaining that it had …Read More

Moody’s terms mini-budget positive for export sectors

The Express Tribune (Feb 1, 2019)

KARACHI: Moody’s – one of three big global credit rating agencies – has termed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s second mini-budget positive for manufacturing and export-oriented sectors, which will lend much-needed support to enhancing the country’s foreign income and curb the current account deficit (CAD).
The US-based rating agency, however, stated that new budgetary measures weakened the government’s income generation side as tax incentives
Read More

Here is how the Budget 2019 benefits the Indian middle class

The Saudi Gazette (Feb 1, 2019)

NEW DELHI — India’s Hindu nationalist-led government pledged 750 billion rupees ($10.56 billion) to support farm incomes and reduced the tax burden for middle class voters on Friday, hoping to refind favor with its last budget before a general election. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is facing discontent over depressed farm incomes and doubts over whether his policies are creating enough jobs. With opinion polls suggesting that Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could lose its parliamentary majority in an election that must be held by May, the ….Read More

PM directs FBR to focus on big tax evaders, non-filers

The Business Recorder (Jan 31, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to focus on recovery from the big tax evaders and bring the non-filers into the tax net. He was chairing a meeting over reforms in the FBR here at the Prime Minister Office. Minister for Finance Asad Umar, Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar, FBR Chairman Jahanzaib Khan and other high officials attended the meeting, a press release said. The FBR Chairman briefed …Read More

‘Govt to provide time-based subsidy to engineering sector’

The Express Tribune (Jan 31, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production Abdul Razak Dawood on Wednesday has said although he doesn’t support the idea of subsidies but the government would provide a time-based subsidy on the export of motorcycles and engineering products to boost trade. The advisor while addressing a press conference alongside Chairman Board of Investments Haroon Sharif argued that it is not practical to provide subsidy for as long as 50 years and…Read More

Interim budget: Defence experts pitch for increase in funds

The Times of India (Jan 30, 2019)

New Delhi: (India): Ahead of the interim budget to be presented on February 1, defence experts are the view that the government must increase its expenditures on the defence sector. Defence analyst Swaran Singh said the defence budget is usually seen in comparison to India’s neighbours. “Last year, when Pakistan’s defence budget went up by about 18 18 per cent, India’s defence budget went up only by about 5.5 per cent. This was seen as a matter of concern. Likewise, Chinese defence…Read More

Pakistan needs to take tough decisions: DFID

The Dawn (Jan 30, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The UK Department for International Development (DFID) has asked the government to take ‘tough decisions’ to reform various sectors of the economy. The DFID is working with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank to support Pakistan’s economic reform programmes. Talking to a group of journalists on Tuesday, DFID Chief Economist Rachel Glennerster said there exists a good understanding of what is to be done, and …Read More

No relief: Despite two finance bills, Pakistan’s fiscal miseries to persist

The Express Tribune (Jan 29, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s fiscal woes would not ease even after the introduction of two finance bills in the past five months as the government’s internal assessment showed that the budget deficit would still remain above 6% of the size of national economy or Rs2.4 trillion in the current fiscal year. In absolute terms, the projected budget deficit is higher than the one left behind by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in its last year in power…Read More

Finance Minister vows to club taxes in next budget

The Pakistan Observer (Jan 29, 2019)

Lahore/Sialkot: Federal Finance Minister Asad Umar has pledged to make clubbing of taxes in the federal budget to facilitate the businessmen who paying a large number of taxes. He made this announcement on demand of the LCCI President Almas Hyder while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Asad Umar said that business community would be given the facility of single tax collector in the coming federal budget. He said that trust building between…Read More

Budget 2019: Farm stress busters, tax sops on government agenda

The Economic Times (Jan 28, 2019)

NEW DELHI: The Narendra Modi government’s last budget before the general election will focus on India as well as Bharat as it strives to win a second term in office.
The interim budget, which is likely to be much more than a vote-on-account, will draw from precedents established by former finance ministers Pranab Mukherjee and P Chidambaram, who did not shy away from introducing tax measures as part of stimulus packages, said a senior government official…Read More

Mini-budget termed ‘anti-worker’

The Dawn (Jan 28, 2019)

KARACHI: Labour leaders at a rally against retrenchment of workers and violation of labour laws on Sunday termed the federal government’s recent ‘mini-budget’ ‘totally anti-worker’ and observed that it showed its leaning towards the rich. The rally was organised by the National Trade Union Federation and Textile, Garment General Workers Union Korangi. The labour leaders demanded that the government give an end to the continued retrenchment in factories, etc, and make sure all …Read More

Mini or non-budget?

The Pakistan Today (Jan 27, 2019)

Old wine in a new bottle; Finance minister Asad Umar is so cocksure that measures already taken have revived a moribund economy that he is not willing to brook any criticism of his policies. When a correspondent at his post mini-budget conference asked him a question regarding possibility of a cheaper loan package from the IMF (International Monetary Fund) he was visibly irritated.
In an emotional tone he declared that we would not go on our knees nor take any dictation from…Read More

Razak Dawood instrumental in shaping business-friendly mini-budget

The Pakistan Today (Jan 27, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Unlike the previous ministers of commerce and industry, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood has proved to be highly influential in the federal cabinet of this government to make the supplementary budget more business/trade friendly. The proposals made in the mini-budget show that most of the recommendations forwarded by commerce division and the ministry of industries have been accommodated. “Previously…Read More

RCCI terms mini-budget business friendly

The Dawn (Jan 26, 2019)

RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) on Friday termed the supplementary finance bill 2019 business friendly. “It will offer incentives to Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), industry, agriculture and capital market that will set the direction of the economy,” RCCI President Malik Shahid Saleem said in a press release. He said that despite economic crunch and a number of domestic and international challenges, the government had announced …Read More

PTI presents a directionless mini-budget

The Global Village Space (Jan 26, 2019)

News Desk | GVS spoke with Express Tribune economics reporter Shahbaz Rana to get his thoughts on the government’s mini-budget and if it will achieve what the government needs in terms of economic growth, jobs, FBR tax collections and set Pakistan up on the right path for the next five years. GVS: What does the government need to do to generate economic growth and has the January mini-finance bill gone any way towards that? Pakistan’s fundamental problem is to …Read More

Is the mini-budget a ruse?

The Dawn (Jan 25, 2019)

With the mini-budget announced by the incumbent government on Wednesday amid a ruckus and rowdy behaviour by the opposition, the next question arises how it will cope with the forthcoming challenges in the coming months. After the announcement of the mini-budget on Wednesday, the sentiments of the business community have largely been positive and felicitated the government for presenting a pro-business budget. However, the finance minister Asad Umar…Read More

Senate opposition rejects mini-budget

The Dawn (Jan 25, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The opposition in the Senate on Thursday rejected the mini-budget as an attempt to appease the corporate sector, multinationals and capitalists. Taking part in the discussion on the money bill, senators from the opposition criticised the government for what they called a ‘directionless policy’, and its failure to address issues facing growers. They said that the government was adding to citizens’ problems by continuing to increase gas and electricity tariffs…Read More

Pakistan’s mini-budget to be huge for SMEs, farmers

The by Michelle Jones (Jan 25, 2019)

Pakistan stocks have been rallying since Finance Minister Asad Umar presented what he called a “mini-budget” — officially called the Finance Supplementary Bill of 2019. The bill aims to improve the business environment in the South Asian nation, and investors applauded the measures. However, analysts from one firm note that more information on Pakistan’s financial standing is still needed. Credit Suisse analysts Fahd Niaz and Farhan Rizvi outlined and …Read More