Issue 45

Budget Study Centre   Issue 45
July 25, 2019


Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

Public debt rises by $10.841b in FY 18-19

The Pakistan Today (July 25, 2019)

A whopping $10.814 billion has been added to the public debt in the past year by the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek i Insaaf (PTI) government. The massive borrowing seems to have ignored the necessary precaution that the government should have taken in securing liabilities, and severely undermines the government’s self-proclaimed desire to cut the deficit. The heavy borrowing in the past year… Read More

Pakistan economic slowdown to continue

The Daily Times (July 25, 2019)

LAHORE: Pakistan is seeing its economy slow as domestic policy is tightened against a background of a slowing global economy, finds ACCA’s (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA’s (Institute of Management Accountants) Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS). The global poll of 1162 accountants shows that confidence remains above… Read More

Budget deficit of last fiscal may touch Rs 3,300 bn

The News (July 24, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The initial estimates for fiscal year 2018-19 under first year rule of the PTI suggest that Pakistan’s budget deficit is going to witness new heights of touching Rs3,300 billion, one of the highest ever absolute figure in whole history of Pakistan. This budget deficit exceeding Rs3,300 billion or 8.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will have far-reaching negative impact for the fiscal… Read More

US may release CSF funding for Pakistan

The News (July 24, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Ruling out possibility of any rescheduling of foreign debt under Paris Club arrangement with the blessings of USA, Pakistan might see positive movement on release of pending funds of $9 billion from USA in shape of Coalition Support Fund (CSF). But this could only happen if truce in Afghanistan struck successfully as Washington is expecting some ‘positive outcome’ by… Read More

Pakistan borrows record $16b in just one year

The Express Tribune (July 23, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: For the first time in its history, Pakistan borrowed a whopping $16 billion in foreign loans in just one year aimed at avoiding default on international debt obligations and financing its imports. The $16 billion worth of foreign loans have been obtained during fiscal year 2018-19, which included 11 months of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, showed official documents… Read More

Punjab government to abolish ‘unnecessary taxes’

The Express Tribune (July 23, 2019)

LAHORE: The Punjab government has assured the business community that it will abolish almost 50 unnecessary taxes besides clubbing the collection of property, professional and labour-related taxes. The assurance was given by Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht in a meeting with Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President… Read More

Pakistan needs to mobilize tax revenue, cut debt: IMF acting director after meeting PM

The Dawn (July 22, 2019)

Pakistan needs to mobilise domestic tax revenue to ensure funds for social and development programs, while reducing debt, the acting director of the International Monetary Fund said on Sunday after a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan in Washington DC.  The two officials discussed recent economic developments and the implementation of Pakistan’s IMF-supported economic… Read More

The inflation challenge

The Business Recorder (July 22, 2019)

The Monetary Policy Committee of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) decided to raise in the discount rate by 100 basis points while acknowledging that the inflation projection may be revised upward to 12 percent. The budget for 2019-20 projects inflation from between 11 to 13 percent, an estimate endorsed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff report released after the Board of Directors approved the 6 billion dollar Extended… Read More

No political stability without economic stability

The Daily Times (July 21, 2019)

This is what International Monetary Fund (IMF) Resident Representative to Pakistan Teresa Daban Sanchez has delivered to Pakistan along a set of damning conditions attached to the bailout package. Of all conditions, the condition of establishing a stable political environment in the country is the most pressing, and a doable thing by all the stakeholders. At a symposium in Islamabad… Read More

Businessmen worried over missing export target for 2018-19

The Nation (July 21, 2019)

LAHORE     –    The Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) former chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh has expressed his serious concern for not achieving export target set for the fiscal year 2018-19, which was missed by a huge margin of over $5 billion, as the current export portfolio is marred by a lack of diversification. He observed that exports have dropped by about one… Read More

Govt to enhance tax net, for documenting country’s economy: Shabbar Zaidi

Business Recorder (July 20, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Chairman, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Shabbar Zaidi Friday said priority of the government to enhance the tax net and expend tax base to documenting the country’s economy. Taxation is the only way to forward for equitable distribution of wealth, as “we cannot have stabilized and equitable society unless we have a fare taxation system” he said this during a Policy … Read More

How to stabilize Pakistan’s economy?

The Modern Diplomacy by Amjed Jaaved (July 20, 2019)

Pakistan approached International Monetary Fund for 13th time since 1988 to get a bail-out. This programme is touted as a recipe to `reduce Pakistan’s public debt’ and `stabilize the economy’. The suggested panacea is `market-determined exchange-rate’ coupled with tax-evasion. But a free-floating exchange-rate is no magic wand or panacea for economic stability … Read More

FBR sets tax collection target at Rs300b for July

Express Tribune (July 19, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has set the tax collection target at Rs300 billion for July 2019. However, it is likely to report revenue shortfall in the very first month of current fiscal year 2019-20. According to sources within the FBR, the tax collection in the first 17 days of July stood at Rs170 billion while the remaining Rs130 billion has to be collected in 14 days… Read More

Inflation almost doubled in Pakistan :ADB

The Nation (July 19, 2019)

ISLAMABAD     –          The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said that Pakistan’s GDP growth had deteriorated to 3.3 percent in fiscal year 2018-2019, which was lowest rate in last 8 years. According to Asian Development Bank (ADB) report released. “Preliminary official estimates for Pakistan show growth in FY2019 (ended 30 June 2019) deteriorating to 3.3percent, the lowest rate in 8 years, pulled … Read More

The IMF takeover of Pakistan

The Diplomat (July 18, 2019)

On July 3, the International Monetary Fund approved a $6 billion bailout package to help “return sustainable growth” to Pakistan’s economy. Throughout the deal spanning 39 months, the IMF will review Pakistan’s progress on a quarterly basis. As part of the agreement, $1 billion has been released to Pakistan. This is the 13th IMF bailout for Pakistan, with the Fund looking toward… Read More

Higher rates boost NSS receipts volume in FY 2018-19: SBP

The Nation (July 17, 2019)

Owing to higher rates offered on different instruments, the net receipts of National Saving Schemes (NSS) witnessed considerable growth during the fiscal year 2018-19 compared to the corresponding period of last year, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported. “The net receipts of National Saving Schemes (NSS) surged to Rs225.3 billion, compared to only Rs 48.7 billion recorded in the… Read More

Budget petard

Express Tribune (July 17, 2019)

The State Bank of Pakistan has predicted even slower economic growth in the fiscal year 2019-20, putting a damper on the ruling party’s claims of improvement coming soon. The fact that the announcement comes so soon after the federal budget, where the Planning Division set a 4 per cent growth target, is doubly worrying. Incidentally, the SBP, opposed to past practice, did not give a numeric  … Read More

Foreign direct investment halved to $1.73b in FY19

Express Tribune (July 16, 2019)

KARACHI: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government failed to win confidence of foreign investors in the domestic economy as foreign direct investment (FDI) halved to $1.73 billion in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2019. FDI stood at $3.47 billion in the preceding fiscal year 2017-18, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported on Monday. “Uncertainty regarding the (rupee-dollar) … Read More

Budget 2019-20, CPEC and growth trajectory

The Nation (July 16, 2019)

The incumbent government presented its first formal budget of 2019-20 in June. The total budget outlay is Rs- 8,238.1 billion with 38.9 % higher than the size of previous budget. The target for expenditures is set at Rs 8,238.1 billion and Rs 3,462.1 billion for net revenues. For Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) the budget allocates Rs 1,613 billion out of which provinces share is Rs 912 billion … Read More

SBP releases third Quarterly Report on State of Economy for FY 19

The News (July 15, 2019)

KARACHI: While Pakistan’s economy moved along the stabilization phase led by demand management policies, vulnerabilities in the external and fiscal sectors persisted during Jul-Mar FY19, according to the State Bank of Pakistan’s Third Quarterly Report on the State of Pakistan’s Economy released today. This implies that the current stabilization agenda needs to be reinforced with deep … Read More

IMF package-bailout for govt or for economy?

The Express Tribune (July 15, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced the much-awaited $6-billion bailout package for Pakistan, which would be received over the next three years. The transcript of the conference call on the release of IMF staff report mentions that this Extended Fund Facility has two main pillars. In the words of IMF Mission Chief for Pakistan, Middle East and … Read More

Budget 2019-20 resembles historic financial plans

Urdu Point (July 14, 2019)

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – APP – 14th Jul, 2019 ) :The recently passed Federal budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 resembles historic annual financial plans, as this year the plan had been prepared keeping in view the prevailing vexed economic situation, burdened with increased debts, slackened growth rate, fiscal and current account deficits and shortfall in revenues, hence leaving … Read More

Federal Budget 2018-19 in retrospect

Daily Times by Muhammad Zahid Rifat (July 14, 2019)

PML(N)’s federal government had stepped down on May 31, 2018 on completion of its stipulated 5 years constitutional tenure. But prior to doing that, it had created a record of presenting six budgets in the five years period. It had presented the federal budget for financial year 2018-19 as early as on April 27, 2018 leaving no room for the caretakers to present budgetary proposals for the … Read More

Traders shut down markets across Pakistan

Pakistan Today (July 13, 2019)

LAHORE/KARACHI/ISLAMABAD : A countrywide shutter-down strike was observed by traders in all part of the country in a protest against the “anti-business measures” taken by the federal government in the budget for the current financial year. The traders demanded that the “unfair taxes” be withdrawn, especially the value-added tax on traders. According to media reports, the strike was partially successful in Karachi, while … Read More

Trade deficit shrinks 15.3% to $31.8b in FY19

Express Tribune (July 13, 2019) 

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has managed to narrow down the trade deficit by 15.3% to $31.8 billion on the back of import compression but it failed to enhance exports, which fell even below the level left behind by its arch-rival – the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Trade figures released by the Pakistan Bureau of … Read More

Economy will improve within a year, says SBP governor

The News (July 12, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Conceding twin deficits as biggest challenge confronting Pakistan’s economy, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Dr Reza Baqir on Thursday said the economic condition of the country will improve within a year. He defended exchange rate policy under the IMF conditions arguing that it should be reflective of demand-supply gap of total dollar inflows … Read More


Rising Pakistan

The Express Tribune by Kwak Sung-Kyu (July 12, 2019)

Pakistan is confronted with challenges of many types, but with a new government in the saddle now, there are renewed hopes for the country to overcome all its challenges. In July 2018, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, a relatively smaller political party, won the general election. Led by former cricket hero Imran Khan, the party has started implementing his vision for a ‘Naya Pakistan’ …. Read More