Issue 38

Budget Study Centre   Issue 38
April 18, 2019


Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

Asad Umar steps down as finance minister

Pakistan Today (April 18, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Asad Umar on Thursday announced his decision to leave the post of federal finance minister. Umar took to Twitter and wrote, “As part of a cabinet reshuffle PM desired that I take the energy minister portfolio instead of finance. However, I have obtained his consent to not take any cabinet position. I strongly believe @ImranKhanPTI is the… Read More

Govt formulating policies to deal with budget, current account deficit: ADB

The News (Apr 18, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: While indicating $11.129 billion committed loans remained un-disbursed so far, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday stated that Pakistan’s new government was formulating policies to deal with vulnerabilities of budget deficit and current account deficit in order to restore its economic growth. In its annual report and financial… Read More

Pakistan’s GDP growth to hover around 5 percent in 2019: GECS

The News (Apr 17, 2019)

LAHORE: Pakistan’s economy is likely to grow by around 5 percent this year, but it faces challenges in the shape of alarmingly large fiscal and current account deficits, both running around 6 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). These are the findings of Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS) report for the first quarter (Q1) of 2019…Read More

Pakistan’s economy to weigh on region’s growth: IMF official

Dawn News (Apr 17, 2019)

WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s economy is projected to slow down significantly and weigh on the region’s aggregate growth rate, says Jihad Azour, director of the Middle East and Central Asia department at the International Monetary Fund. At a recent talk on the economic outlook for the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) region…Read More

Pakistan eyes $22b package from lending agencies in three years

Express Tribune (Apr 16, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday announced that it will send a staff-level mission to Pakistan to finalise a bailout programme, as Finance Minister Asad Umar hoped to secure nearly $22 billion packages from three multilateral agencies in the next three years. “At the request of the (Pakistani) authorities, an IMF mission will… Read More

Trade bodies demand tax exemptions worth Rs 800b: FRB

Pakistan Today (Apr 16, 2019)

ISLAMABAD:  As the trade bodies and associations are giving budget suggestions to the government, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has complained that the business community is demanding tax exemptions worth Rs 800 billion. “FBR is already giving Rs 700 billion worth exemptions to various sectors. How and from where we can collect taxes… Read More

Pakistan to avail $6-8bn IMF package, says Asad Umar

Pakistan Today (Apr 15, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Asad Umar on Monday said that Pakistan is all set to avail a bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ranging between $6-8 billion. Addressing a press conference after his return from New York on Monday, the finance minister said that Pakistan and IMF have signed a policy-level agreement and both sides have also… Read More

Govt devises strategy to streamline budget allocations

The Nation (Mar 15, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The government has been working on a comprehensive strategy to streamline budget allocations for each ministry with an aim to reduce expenditure rigidities. “Rather than providing budgetary funds to the line ministries in itemized details, the budget allocations for each ministry will be made under only two heads including employee related… Read More

Foreign reserves increase, fiscal deficit decreased: Khusro

Pakistan Observer (Apr 14, 2019)

Islamabad: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar has asserted that the federal government has been formulating and implementing effective reforms to strengthen the national economy. He spoke to a private news channel, and stated that improvement in every sector could be observed in the country… Read More

The development budget

The News (Apr 14, 2019)

Government spending on economic development is likely to take another hit next year as the finance ministry has indicated that the development outlay will remain the same for next year. Coming after a year of severe inflation, keeping the Public Sector Development Programme at Rs675 billion for 2019-20 equates to a real reduction in development spending… Read More

Bailout package with IMF almost worked out: Asad

The Dawn (Apr 13, 2019)

WASHINGTON: Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have — more or less — reached an understanding on a package for bailing out the country’s ailing economy, says Finance Minister Asad Umar. “During the last two days, we have, more or less, reached an understanding. In the next day or two, we hope to reach a full agreement and then we will share… Read More

Budgetary borrowing up 9pc

Dawn News (Apr 13, 2019)

KARACHI: The government’s borrowing for budgetary support increased by 8.8 per cent year-on year during 9MFY19, reported the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Friday. The budgetary borrowing rose to Rs876 billion from July to April 5 FY19, compared to Rs805bn during the same period last fiscal year, representing an increase of Rs71bn or 8.8pc… Read More

Liquid foreign reserves stands at $17.22b

Pakistan Observer (Mar 12, 2019)

Karachi: The total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at US$17,228.3 million on 05April2019. The break-up of the foreign reserves position. Foreign reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan $ 10,271.9 million. Net foreign reserves held by commercial banks $ 6,956.4 million. Total liquid foreign reserves $ 17,228.3 million… Read More

Next budget to be made in light of IMF programme

Pakistan Today (Apr 12, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and International Monitory Fund (IMF) have reportedly finalised the talks for the next bailout programme and have agreed to move forward towards the staff level agreement, it has been learnt. According to sources, after the positive talks with the IMF officials in Washington, the Fund would be sending its mission to Pakistan this… Read More

Despite no growth in exports, trade deficit shrinks 13%

Express Tribune (Apr 11, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s exports flattened at $17 billion in first nine months of this fiscal year despite 34% currency devaluation in the last over one year, underscoring the need to review a strategy to weaken the currency for gaining export competitiveness. Where the growth in exports flattened in nine months, it, in fact, dipped over 11% on a year-on-year basis in… Read More

Foreign exchange: SBP reserves fall $220m to stand at 10.3b

Express Tribune (Apr 11, 2019)

KARACHI:  The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank declined 2.1% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday. Earlier, the reserves had spiralled downwards, falling below the $7 billion mark, which raised concern over Pakistan’s ability to meet its financing requirements. However, financial… Read More

FPCCI seeks viable budget proposals from all chambers

The News (Apr 10, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers and Commerce (FPCCI) on Tuesday sought viable budget proposals from all chambers for timely submission to the federal government for fully ensuring growth-oriented and business-friendly environment to boost the economic activities. FPCCI President Daroo Khan Achakzai said this during a meeting… Read More

IMF puts country’s growth rate at 2.5%

Express Tribune  (Apr 10, 2019)

ISLAMABAD:  Just a day after Finance Minister Asad Umar claimed that the economy is out of the woods, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said Pakistan’s economy will grow at an average rate of just 2.5% during the next five years and its external imbalance will remain elevated. If the IMF’s prophecy turns out to be true, Prime Minister Imran Khan… Read More

Govt urged to facilitate furniture sector in upcoming budget

Pakistan Today (Apr 09, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) on Tuesday urged the federal and provincial governments to allocate a special chunk of funds in the upcoming fiscal budget 2019-20 to boost furniture exports, besides giving the sector the status of a full-fledged industry. PFC Chief Executive Mian Kashif Ashfaq expressed these views while chairing a board of… Read More

SMEDA sends proposals for budget 2019-20

Pakistan Observer (Apr 09, 2019)

Lahore: The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) has sent a set of proposals for Federal Budget 2019-20, which demands that SMEs being an important sector of our economy require assistance and support to ensure their sustained growth. The budget proposals compiled by SMEDA through extensive consultation with stakeholders… Read More

China denies CPEC intensified Pakistan’s economic risks

Economic Times (Apr 08, 2019)

BEIJING: China on Monday refuted criticism that the USD 60 billion CPEC has intensified Pakistan’s economic risks, saying that less than 20 per cent of the current projects under the initiative are using Chinese loans. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which connects Gwadar Port in Balochistan with China’s Xinjiang province, is the flagship… Read More

Economy has come out of crises: Asad Umar

The News (Apr 08, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister of Finance Asad Umar said on Monday that the situation of crisis in the country has ended and we are now in a stage of stability which will continue for next year and a half. Addressing an event in the federal capital, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader stated that the country’s economy is presently encountering three major… Read More

Pakistan’s GDP growth may slow down to 3.4%: World Bank

Express Tribune (Apr 07, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s public debt would jump to 17 years highest level of 82.3 per cent of the size of its economy and budget deficit is projected to be over Rs2.6 trillion by the end of the current fiscal year, says a new report of the World Bank. The projected levels of the budget deficit – gap between expenditures and revenues – and public debt to Gross Domestic… Read More

PTI-led govt’s debt surges to Rs 27.6tr by Feb-end

The Express Tribune (Apr 06, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The federal government’s debt has soared to Rs27.6 trillion with a net addition of Rs3.4 trillion in just eight months at a pace of nearly 14% due to low tax revenue, high expenditure and currency depreciation. From July through February 2018-19, the government on an average added Rs14 billion a day to its debt, which included almost six and… Read More

Pakistan’s GDP growth to fall behind Nepal, Maldives this year: UN

Dawn News (Apr 05, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The annual Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2019 titled ‘Ambitions beyond Growth’, released by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) on Thursday, forecast Pakistan’s GDP to remain lowest in the region at 4.2 per cent in 2019 and 4pc in 2020 compared to Bangladesh’s 7.3pc… Read More