Issue 36

Budget Study Centre   Issue 36
March 21, 2019


Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

Pakistan to receive $2.1bn loan from China by Monday

The Pakistan Today (Mar 21, 2019)

The Ministry of Finance has announced that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) will receive a loan of 15 billion yuan ($2.1 billion) from China by Monday, a private media outlet reported on Thursday. The ministry’s advisor and spokesperson Dr Khaqan Najeeb Khan said that “all procedural formalities” for the transfer of the loan being provided to Pakistan by the Chinese government have been completed, and “the funds will be deposited in the SBP account by Monday 25th March”… Read More

ECC approves Rs 17.5 billion supplementary budget

The Express Tribune (Mar 21, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The government on Wednesday approved Rs17.5 billion supplementary budget for largely meeting expenditures of legislators and temporarily displaced persons including Rs400 million for maintaining an aircraft being used by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet also approved higher hydel profit for Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government that will provide Rs10 billion additional income to… Read More

Pakistan can become a $2trllion economy- World Bank

The Eur Asian Times (Mar 20, 2019)

According to the World Bank, Pakistan could become a $2 trillion economy in the next 28 years if it remains constant in its reforms and works to reduce its population growth rate. “With sustained reforms, Pakistan could be a $2 trillion economy when it will turn 100 in the next 28 years,” said the World Bank (WB) Country Director Patchamuthu Illangovan while sharing the main findings of the ‘Pakistan @100- Sharing the Future 2047′ report on Monday…Read More

World Bank suggests involvement of more countries in CPEC

The Pakistan Today(Mar 20, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: A new World Bank report has stated that multi-country involvement in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) can help achieve greater regional integration. Suggesting various steps to be taken towards greater regional integration to liberalize trade and improve logistics, a WB report titled “Pakistan@100: Shaping the Future” said CPEC can be used to improve relations with other countries that could benefit from it, including Iran, India, Afghanistan…Read More

Business urged to submit budget proposals on time

The Business Recorder (Mar 19, 2019)

LAHORE: Private sector should prepare their actionable proposals and submit them timely for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government’s first federal budget 2019-20. Likewise, the Planning Commission is formulating the 12th Five-Year Plan and Ministry of Commerce is formulating three-year Strategic Trade Policy Framework for which business community should proactively engage with the relevant departments and submit sector-specific…Read More

‘Pakistan IMF agree on policy directions’

The News (Mar 19, 2019)

KARACHI: Pakistan and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have generally reached an agreement over the bailout program to meet the financing gap, but timing and pace of stabilisation policies are under discussion, SBP Governor said on Monday. “There is a general agreement regarding the policy direction between us and the IMF; the differences are only on the timing and pace of stabilisation policies,” Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Tariq Bajwa said…Read More

Shaping a brighter future for Pakistan

Dawn News (Mar 18, 2019)

In a new report, the World Bank takes a deep look at what Pakistan needs to do to have a better future for its people by 2047, a full ¬century after the country’s birth. In this series, the authors provide a brief summary of key recommendations of the report. IN 28 years, Pakistan will turn 100 years old. The children born this year will be adults then. I wonder what they will see when they look around…Read More

Spend less on defence and more on human development, World Bank tells Pakistan

The SAMAA by Farooq Baloch and Shakeel Ahmad (Mar 18, 2019)

If Pakistan wants to be a strong upper middle-income country by the time it turns 100, it has to reduce its population growth rate by half and more than double its spending on education and healthcare, World Bank said in its latest policy report ‘Pakistan@100: Shaping The Future’. The global lender has expressed its concerns on the ever increasing defence expenditures in the South Asia region amid recent tensions between India and Pakistan…Read More

GDP expected to grow at an average of 5.4pc in next five years

The Pakistan Today (Mar 17, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to grow at an average of 5.4 per cent during the next five years, with highest growth of 6.7 per cent to be witnessed in fiscal year 2022-23, according to preliminary figures of 12th Five Year Plan (2018-23). According to the provisional figures of the draft of the 12th Five Year Plan, the economy would grow at four per cent during the current fiscal year (2018-19), followed by 4.6 per cent growth rate in FY 2019-20, 5.5… Read More

Pakistan closer to reaching accord with IMF: Asad

Dawn News (Mar 17, 2019)

TAXILA: Federal Finance Minister Asad Umar has hinted that bailout package talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are in their final stages and the government will have further negotiations with the newly appointed IMF mission before reaching an agreement. “Pakistan has come closer to reaching an agreement with the IMF as the differences between Pakistan and the IMF over a possible…Read More

Trump’s trade war cost US economy $7.8bn in 2018: Study

The Pakistan Today (Mar 16, 2019)

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump’s trade battles cost the US economy $7.8 billion in lost gross domestic product in 2018, a study by a team of economists at leading American universities published this week showed. Authors of the paper said they analyzed the short-run impact of Trump’s actions and found that imports from targeted countries declined 31.5pc while targeted US exports fell by 11pc. They also found that annual consumer and producer losses from higher costs of…Read More

Pakistan seeks $500 million loan from ADB

The Express Tribune (Mar 16, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has requested the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to approve a $500 million loan in budgetary support before June this year, as it faces difficulties in retaining foreign exchange reserves because of mounting external financing needs. The request has been made to Werner Liepach, director general for Central and West Asia Department of the ADB, who is on a visit to Pakistan, a top official of the Finance Ministry told The Express Tribune….Read More

No new mega projects in next year’s PSDP

The Express Tribune (Mar 15, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary body on Thursday took up the issue of ‘insignificant’ research and development funds of Rs1.4 billion for the entire year out of a total budget of Rs6 trillion. “There should be a special meeting just to cry over the poor state of funding for research and development,” said Senate Standing Committee on Science and Technology Senator Mushtaq Ahmed. The committee met to discuss the budgetary allocations for the ministry and the utilisation of funds…Read More

ADB reaffirms support to Pakistan’s development

The Pakistan Today (Mar 15, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Asad Umar said on Friday that the government is keen to devise an innovative financing model, develop capital markets and mobilise private sector investment in infrastructure and social sectors. “These initiatives will not only provide fiscal space to the government but will also be helpful to boost economic activities in the country,” said the finance minister during a meeting with a high-level delegation of the Asian Development Bank (ADB)…Read More

IMF endorses Sri Lankan government budget

The WSW (Mar 14, 2019)

The second reading of the 2019 government budget presented by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera was passed by the Sri Lankan parliament on Tuesday. The final vote on the United National Party (UNP)-led government’s measures, which are in line with International Monetary Fund (IMF) demands, will be taken on April 5, after further debate. The IMF mission chief for Sri Lanka, Manuela Goretti, told the Dailyft on Tuesday that “a prudent policy mix is necessary”,…Read More

US aid to Pakistan for 2020 to be dismal

The Hindustan Times (Mar 14, 2019)

The Trump administration has cut by half its budgetary request for a fund that the US uses to compensate coalition partners for military and logistical support, which could mean Pakistan, the principal beneficiary of the allocation, will get next to nothing from it. The fiscal year 2020 budget request for Coalition Support Fund (CSF) of $450 million reflects a $450 million (50%) decrease from the FY 2019 enacted level of $900 mn, the US department of defence said in a summary of its budgetary…Read More

Pakistan’s resources can make it an economic power

The Express Tribune (Mar 13, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: A Ghanaian diplomat has said that Pakistan has matchless natural and human resources which could soon turn the country into a global economic power. This was stated by the visiting Ghanaian Diplomat Muhammad Karandi while speaking to Ghana’s Honourary Consul General Shahid Rasheed Butt on Tuesday. Karandi, who works at the Ghanaian embassy in Tehran but is visiting Islamabad, said that Pakistan has all…Read More

Pentagon rolls out $718 billion budget for 2020

The Economic Times (Mar 13, 2019)

WASHINGTON: The US Department of Defence has rolled out its $718 billion budget request for the fiscal 2020, with a substantial hike in war funding aimed at circumventing a budget gap. “This strategy-driven budget makes necessary investments in next-generation technology, space, missiles and cyber capabilities,” Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan said in a statement on Tuesday. “The operations and capabilities supported by this budget will…Read More

Pakistan for promoting regional economic integration

The Business Times (Mar 12, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister, Asad Umar said Tuesday that Pakistan strongly believed in promoting regional economic integration for development of the whole region. Talking to a Turkmenistan delegation, led by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Rashid Meredov, the Finance Minister said that it was the vision of Prime Minister of Pakistan to develop regional economic integration, which he said was highly essential for the social and economic prosperity of the region…Read More

Punjab Assembly begins pre-budget debate

The News (Mar 12, 2019)

LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly began pre-budget debate on Monday as Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht reiterated his government’s resolve to address the problems and sense of deprivation among dwellers of southern Punjab. He asked the assembly members to present their suggestions for improving the upcoming budget for fiscal year 2019-20. Opposition leader in Punjab Assembly, Hamza Shahbaz, complained of victimisation of Pakistan Muslim League…Read More

Mini-budget: still a work in progress

Dawn News (Mar 11, 2019)

The National Assembly passed the second mini-budget of the current fiscal year last week with a rare 45-day gap following its presentation. Instead of considering ecommendations made by the Senate, Finance Minister Asad Umar rushed through many amendments to the Jan 23 document. The Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs had proposed about 55 amendments to the Finance Supplementary…Read More

Trump invites a new fight with Democrats over 2020 budget, seeks $8.6 billion for wall

The CNN (Mar 11, 2019)

Washington (CNN)The Trump administration is headed for a budget clash with Congress, with calls for deep domestic spending cuts that lawmakers are likely to ignore as the nation’s debt reaches record levels. On Monday, President Donald Trump is set to deliver his budget roadmap with a promise to balance the budget in 15 years, marking the first time he’ll unveil a spending proposal under a divided government with Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the helm of a Democratic-controlled House, and he is…Read More

China’s funding for science and research to reach 2.5 percent of GDP in 2019

The South China Morning Post (Mar 10, 2019)

China’s spending on science and research funding is set to continue rising to 2.5 per cent of its GDP this year, as the nation seeks to catch up on the technology front amid an economic downturn. The funding target was revealed in a meeting of the country’s peak advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, on Sunday. It means China will reach its budget goal for research and development a year ahead of schedule, though scientists say they still do not get…Read More

Pakistan set to receive US$2billion (Dh7.35 billion) deposit from the UAE

The Gulf News (Mar 10, 2019)

Dubai: The United Arab Emirates is expected to deposit US$2 billion (Dh7.35 billion) in the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) as foreign currency reserves in a few days to help Islamabad meet international payment pressures. “US$2 billion in deposits are expected to be received by the SBP within days,” a spokesperson of the SBP told media in Pakistan. Abu Dhabi had released the first tranche…Read More

Murad says provinces face financial crises due to poor state of national economy

Dawn News (Mar 09, 2019)

JAMSHORO: Sindh Chief Min-is¬ter Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that provinces face severe crisis due to poor state of national economy as federal government has thus far failed miserably to improve conditions. The government should work harder to bolster economy and scale up tax collection instead of launching scathing attacks on others and issuing boastful statements, said Mr Shah while talking to media persons after graduation ceremony at the US-Pakistan Centre for…Read More

FY 2018-19: Pakistan post’s deficit projected to cross Rs 12 billion

The Business Recorder (Mar 09, 2019)

Amid deteriorating postal services owing to lack of innovation to compete with private couriers and electronic alternatives, Pakistan Post’s deficit is projected to cross Rs 12 billion by the end of current fiscal year 2018-19. Official sources revealed to Business Recorder that the government has set a revenue target of around Rs 15 billion for Pakistan Postal department for 2018-19 after it missed revenue target of Rs 13 billion for 2017-18…Read More

FY 2017-18: Government regularize Rs 354.2 billion excess expenditures

The Business Recorder (Mar 08, 2019)

The federal government has regularized excess expenditure of Rs 354.2 billion during financial year 2017-18 and supplementary grants of over Rs 39 billion for the financial year 2018-19, official sources told Business Recorder. According to the Finance Ministry, Article 84 of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973, lays down the procedure for supplementary grants and excess grants. It provides that the federal government shall have power to authorize expenditure in case the amount…Read More