Issue 40

Budget Study Centre   Issue 40
May 16, 2019


Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

Trade deficit contracts 13% in Jul-Apr FY 19

Express Tribune (May 16, 2019)

KARACHI: Pakistan’s trade deficit widened over 22% to $2.66 billion in April 2019 because of increase in imports, particularly the expensive petroleum products for running oil-fired power plants during the current summer season when demand rose sharply. The trade deficit stood at $2.18 billion in the previous month of March, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported on Wednesday… Read More

Agreement with IMF to end uncertainty

The Nation (May 16, 2019)

KARACHI – 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 the long-delayed agreement with IMF may help calm the markets. After the agreement, the local and foreign investors will be able to take… Read More

Imran govt approves first tax amnesty scheme

Pakistan Today (May 15, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government on Tuesday finally approved the Asset Declaration Scheme after weeks of scrutiny amid internal opposition in a bid to “document the economy and to bring dead assets into the economy and make them functional”. PM’s Adviser on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh briefed the media on the scheme after a meeting of the federal … Read More

Rs 750-800 billion PSDP likely: Hafeez explain criticality of IMF bailout

Business Recorder (May 15, 2019)

Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Hafeez Shaikh has said that the government is likely to allocate Rs 750-800 billion under Public Sector Development Programme (PSPD) in the upcoming budget for 2019-20. Addressing a press conference here at Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) House on Tuesday, the advisor said that the government is likely to unveil the budget for 2019-20 on June 10 or… Read More

Budget proposals: SCCI calls for review of APTTA

Business Recorder (May 13, 2019)

Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has called for review of Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) for the facilitation of imports with Afghanistan and introduction of an effective mechanism based on some quantitative ceilings to collect duty at import stage. Similarly, it has also recommended the streamlining of exchange control mechanism for financing… Read More

Pakistan finalizes $6bn IMF bailout package

Aljazeera (May 13, 2019)

Islamabad, Pakistan – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Pakistan have agreed on terms for a $6bn bailout package, to be disbursed over a span of more than three years, bringing an end to months of negotiations with the international lender. The agreement was confirmed by the IMF which added that the funds would be disbursed over 39 months. “Pakistan… Read More

Self-defeating economic thought process

Pakistan Today (May 12, 2019)

Exports have risen negligibly during the tenure of the PTI government. Given that the country inherited a huge current account deficit, and a large external debt servicing requirement, disappointingly, raising exports could still not become one of the government’s main areas of focus. The delay in announcing any meaningful steps to boost exports points to the PTI’s lack of preparedness… Read More

Pakistan agrees another multi-billion IMF bailout

Reuters (May 12, 2019)

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan has reached an accord with the International Monetary Fund for a three-year, $6 billion bailout package aimed at shoring up fragile public finances and strengthening a slowing economy, officials said on Sunday. The deal, which still needs approval by the IMF board in Washington, would be the 13th such bailout since the late 1980s Finance Minister Abdul… Read More

Budget Blues

Pakistan Today (May 11, 2019)

Barring a last minute glitch, around a $7billion IMF (International Monetary Fund) bailout package is virtually clinched. Now begins the hard part of meeting the international lending agency’s tough condtionalites. The conventional wisdom is that in the end analysis Islamabad completely capitulated in negotiations with the IMF officials. In the backdrop of an unprecedented shuffle in the finance team… Read More

APWC for introducing economic reforms in budget

The Nation (May 11, 2019)

LAHORE (PR) All Pakistan Workers Confederation has said that federal and provincial governments may announce far reaching economic and social reforms in their forthcoming annual budgets. It also called for adopting austerity measures in the country and develop national industries and agriculture and trade. It was also called upon the government to ensure safe and healthy… Read More

Pakistan economy grows by mere 3.3 percent in 2018-19 amid IMF bailout threat: Reports

Indian Express (May 10, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s economy registered a dismal 3.3 per cent growth in 2018-19, achieving just over 50 per cent of its projected target, as all key sectors failed to perform in the first year of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government, according to media reports on Friday. The poor show came as the cash-strapped Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government was negotiating a bailout package from the… Read More

Budget 2019/20 should be based on ‘low-tax-rate’, long term growth

Daily Times (May 10, 2019)

ACCA (the “Association of Chartered Certified Accountants”) believes that it is time to make radical changes in the approach towards budget and the economic model of Pakistan. We are compelled to think beyond twelve months and take medium to long term perspective focusing on inclusive economic growth and development model for Pakistan rather than just managing cash… Read More

Pakistan’s exports to India grow 1pc in 8 months

The Nation (May 09, 2019)

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s exports of goods and services to India grew by one percent during the first eight months of the current fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of last year, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported. The overall exports to India were recorded at $273.530 million during July-February (2018-19) against exports of $270.843 million during July-February… Read More

FO terms increase in Indian defence budget an attempt to start arms race in region

Dunya News (May 09, 2019)

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal on Thursday termed the increase in Indian defence budget an attempt to start an arms race in the region but New Delhi know that increasing the budget won’t affect anything. Addressing a weekly news briefing in Islamabad on Thursday, he said that passion is most important for the defence of the… Read More

Chaos in FBR as govt aims for budget on May 22

Dawn (May 08, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The government is aiming to announce the federal budget on May 22, according to a communication received at the tax bureaucracy last week, as confusion reigns over the status of the current and incoming chiefs of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). Meanwhile, the summary to appoint Shabbar Zaidi, a Karachi-based chartered accountant, as new chairman of the FBR was… Read More

Money laundering is a major threat to economy

Daily Times (May 08, 2019)

Money laundering, white-collar crime, corruption and tax aversion are global issues and not a challenge for Pakistan alone. That said, they have had a major role in the destruction of Pakistan’s economy. The recent inflation and the hike in prices of fuels is all because of corruption and money laundering. Money laundering is a serious crime against the state. A ‘launderer’ disguises the origin of the money… Read More

Inflation, price hike and Pakistan’s economic structure-II

Business Recorder (May 07, 2019)

It is a common knowledge in Paki-stan that in the present day market mechanism, middlemen buy crops or product of the agriculturist ‘upfront’ much before the production as the agriculturists/producers do not possess sufficient money for seed, fertilizer, pesticides and labour. It is quite interesting to note that in many sectors the number of actual producers for a particular… Read More

Budget likely to be postponed till mid-June

Pakistan Today  (May 07, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Amidst prolonged negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government has started thinking about delaying the next budget to the second week of June, it was learnt on Tuesday. “Instead of presenting federal budget for the financial year 2019-2020 on May 22nd, as announced earlier by the government… Read More

Pakistan doesn’t need additional taxes to cover revenue shortfall: WB

Dawn (May 06, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has substantial potential to increase tax receipts without imposing new taxes or increasing their rates. The country’s tax revenue potential would reach 26 per cent of GDP, if tax compliance were to be raised to 75 per cent, which is a realistic level of compliance for lower middle income countries. This means that Pakistan’s tax authorities are currently capturing only… Read More

Budget expectations

Daily Times (May 06, 2019)

A country’s Budget is a most powerful financial document of its kind. It is a tool to control future commitments with the available resources. An ideal situation for Financial Managers making a country’s budget is where revenues may be more than expenditures. This situation never exists specially in third world countries where resources are scarcer than requirements… Read More

ICAP for focusing on ease of doing business, reforms in budget

The Nation (May 05, 2019)

ISLAMABAD   –   The Institute of Charter Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) here on Saturday recommended the government to pay its special attention on ease of doing business, reforms in tax laws, harmonization of taxation system and broadening the tax base in upcoming federal budget for the fiscal year 2019-20. “Pakistan’s tax-to-GDP ratio is the main impediment in the economic development… Read More

CPEC: Economic prosperity for Pakistan

The News (May 05, 2019)

Pakistan has embarked on a journey of economic growth. Being the 23rd largest economy in the world by Purchasing Power Parity, Pakistan has now picked up the pace in collaboration with economic partners from around the world. The state now possesses the capability to boost its semi-industrialized economy and gain acknowledgement over its manufacturing, agriculture… Read More

IMF asks Pakistan to maintain uplift spending

Daily Times (May 04, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) wants Pakistan to “protect” its development spending at this year’s level in the coming budget. Head of IMF Mission to Pakistan Ernesto Rigo gave these views during a meeting with Planning, Development and Reform Secretary Zafar Hasan, according to the planning ministry officials. Rigo is leading… Read More

$1bn ADB loan likely for budgetary support

Dawn News (May 03, 2019)

THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday agreed to give $1bn budgetary support to Pakistan soon after a green signal from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the government had promised to have a majority transformation of its high debts having serious socio-economic and financial repercussions. Speaking at a news conference at the 52nd Annual… Read More

‘Budget to focus on macroeconomic stability, welfare of vulnerable segments’

Pakistan Today (May 03, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said on Friday that the upcoming budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 would focus on bringing about macroeconomic stability in the country, adding that the government also intends to introduce reforms that could uplift the vulnerable segments of the society. “The budget will comprise measures… Read More