Issue 46

Budget Study Centre   Issue 46
August 08, 2019


Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

Govt to return $10bn foreign debt during current fiscal year: Hammad Azhar

The Nation (Aug 08, 2019)

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar informed the National Assembly on Thursday that the government would return over $10 billion foreign debt during the current fiscal year۔ Replying to various supplementary questions during question hour, Hammad Azhar said the incumbent government returned US $ 8.39 billion foreign debt… Read More

ADB approves &500m loan for budgetary support

Express Tribune (Aug 08, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday approved a $500-million loan for budgetary support to Pakistan, restoring policy-based lending after keeping it suspended for over two years due to deterioration in macroeconomic conditions. The ADB board of directors approved the $500 million in budgetary support under the $800-million… Read More

‘Exports surge 14.2pc, imports drop 18.3pc in July’

Pakistan Today (Aug 07, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood said on Wednesday that Pakistan’s exports had increased by 14.23pc in July this year, as compared to the same month of last year. In term of dollars, the country’s exports increased from $1.63 billion in July 2018 to $1.87 billion in July 2019, the adviser informed while addressing a press conference at the … Read More

Budget 2019: A step towards a future-fit India

The Fortune India (Aug 07, 2019)

Union Budget 2019 clearly underscores the theme of enablement, ease of living, and ease of doing business. Directed at enabling the world’s largest democracy to be fit for the future, institutional reforms and green technology-led growth are its underlying essence. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has driven home the point that to be a $5-trillion economy in the next five years, proactive actioning of her pithy phrases… Read More

US delegation lauds Pakistan’s economic reforms agenda

Pakistan Today (Aug 06, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: A US delegation, led by its Ambassador in Pakistan Alice G Wells, called on Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh at the Finance Division on Tuesday. Hafeez Shaikh briefed the visiting delegation on measures pertaining to economic reforms being undertaken by the government, saying that recent steps would ensure economic… Read More

IMF’s $6bn EFF program meant for economic reform, growth in Pakistan: Resident Representative IMF

Business Recorder (Aug 06, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Resident Representative, International Monitory Fund (IMF), Pakistan Office, Ms Maria Teresa Daban Sanchez on Monday said $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program for Pakistan intend to support the economic reform program and sustainable economic growth of the country. The goals of the IMF package in the medium term is debt sustainability… Read More

Import of agricultural machinery surges 8.73pc in FY19

Pakistan Today (Aug 05, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The import of agricultural machinery into the country during the financial year 2018-19 witnessed an increase of 8.73pc, as compared the corresponding period of last year. According to the data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, agriculture machinery worth $135.312 million was imported during the period from July-June 2018-19, as compared the import… Read More

Better than Egypt, Pakistan still has bumpy road ahead

Express Tribune (Aug 05, 2019)

LAHORE: Pakistan has a long history of signing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programmes to address its balance of payments crisis and structural economic imbalances. There is much talk about imitating the IMF recipe practised in Egypt recently to address Pakistan’s lingering balance of payments challenge and other structural adjustment issues. So, there is a need to compare and analyse … Read More

Pakistan to get 13 million euros from European Union

Express Tribune (Aug 04, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to initiate a five-year programme 2019-2024 in cooperation with the European Union to ensure rule of law in the country along with good governance, reforms in human rights department and decrease in poverty with a cost of 13 million euros. The draft between Pakistan and European… Read More

IMF may ask govt to bring mini budget if FBR shortfall widens

The Nation (Aug 04, 2019)

ISLAMABAD The International Monetary Fund (IMF) may ask Pakistan to bring mini budget if tax collection shortfall widens in next couple of months. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had already faced Rs14 billion shortfall in tax collection during first month (July) of the current fiscal year. The FBR had collected Rs277 billion in July 2019 as against the target of Rs291 billion… Read More

Pakistan economy to grow at less than 5pc: ADB

Pakistan Today (Aug 03, 2019)

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) in a recent report has said that Pakistan’s economy is expected to grow at a rate below 4 per cent in the year 2019-20. The ADB’s report titled ‘How South Asia can continue as the world’s fastest-growing region’ said that Pakistan was focused on fighting macroeconomic imbalances and domestic demand, rendering it unable to grow at a more substantial rate… Read More

Major discrepancies between FBR and SBP in tax receipts

Pakistan Today (Aug 03, 2019)

Major discrepancies ranging between Rs10-24 billion have been found in the tax receipts data reported by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the cash deposited in the treasury. The FBR claimed to have collected Rs280.5 billion in revenues in July, whereas media reports have suggested that the finance ministry has said that the treasury stands Rs10 billion less than this figure at Rs270 billion. Meanwhile…Read More

Analysis of one of South Asia’s most fluctuant economies

Pakistan Today (Aug 02, 2019)

At the heart of South Asia lies a sleeping economic giant. A country founded on the basis of religious freedom by an outstanding group of men that put their people and their religion before themselves. A country stacked with economic potential, from the coast of Karachi to the peaks of Swat. However, despite being rich in natural resources, and having potentially one of the most strategic… Read More

July Inflation reaches 10.34pc, highest in last six years

The Nation (Aug 02, 2019)

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s inflation rate has touched double digit figure of 10.34 percent in July 2019, which is highest in last six years, mainly due to the economic policies of the incumbent government including rupee devaluation and increase in energy costs. Inflation rate has recorded at 10.34 percent in July 2019, which was only 5.8 percent in the same month of the previous year, according to… Read More

Foreign exchange: SBP reserves jump 2.04% to 7.8b

The Express Tribune (Aug 01, 2019)

KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 2.04% 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 assistance from the United… Read More

IFC may boost investments in Pakistan to support economy

The News by Mehtab Haidar (Aug 01, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The World Bank’s private- sector lending arm said on Wednesday it could increase its investments in Pakistan to revive the country’s struggling economy. “The IFC (International Finance Corporation) is looking into the possibility of increasing annual investment for Pakistan to support the country’s economy,” a government statement quoted Hans… Read More

US hints at greater economic engagement with Pakistan

The News by Anwar Iqbal (July 31, 2019)

WASHINGTON: The United States and Pakistan can further enhance bilateral trade if strategic ties between the two countries continue to improve, said a White House factsheet released on Tuesday. The factsheet “Working toward Peace and Stability: Building Economic Prosperity” notes that the United States and Pakistan enjoy a strong economic partnership that benefits both countries… Read More

FBR expands its web to non-resident Pakistanis

The Express Tribune (July 31, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has reduced the stay period of Pakistanis for tax collection purposes with effect from 2015, which may result in litigation as independent legal experts argue that substantive changes in law can only be made prospectively. The FBR on Tuesday issued a circular aimed at explaining important amendments to the Income Tax Ordinance Read More

The last IMF-programme

The Pakistan Today by Usman Masud (July 30, 2019)

Turn a few pages in the history of the economy of Pakistan and you will see a vicious pattern. The outgoing government hands over an economy that is plagued by all kinds of meltdown– fiscal, financial, external, and real. Faced with such a dire situation, the new government’s most immediate priority becomes rescuing the economy. With debt payments around the corner… Read More

Budget 2019-20 resembles historic financial plans

The APP (July 30, 2019)

ISLAMABAD, Jul 30 (APP):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 challenging economic situation. The financial crunch has left the country’s economy burdened with increased debts, decelerated growth rate, fiscal and current account deficits and shortfall… Read More

US economy slows in second quarter; weak business investment a red flag

The Business Recorder (July 29, 2019)

Washington: U.S. economic growth slowed less than expected in the second quarter as a surge in consumer spending blunted some of the drag from declining exports and a smaller inventory build, which could further allay concerns about the economy’s health. But the fairly upbeat report from the Commerce Department on had some red flags for the 10-year-old economic expansion, the longest…Read More

Govt plans to cut down circular debt to Rs225b by Dec

The Nation (July 29, 2019)

ISLAMABAD – The incumbent government has embarked on an ambitious programme to cut down circular debt to Rs 225 billion by December. The sources told APP here that the circular debt escalated to Rs 450 billion in just one year due to delay in tariff determination, absence of proper plan to stop power pilferage and power supply to high losses feeders. However, the government since its inception… Read More

FBR introduces strict law against smuggling

The Express Tribune (July 28, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has issued directives for the implementation of law to curb smuggling and imposition of heavy fine and imprisonment of up to seven years on traders involved in misuse of Afghan Transit Trade. A senior officer of FBR, while speaking to The Express Tribune said that a new clause 63(i) has been included in section 156 part B of Customs Act 1969, therefore,… Read More

Second CPEC phase to boost industrial cooperation

The Express Tribune (July 28, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The second phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is very important for Pakistan as it will give a boost to industrial cooperation and give birth to Special Economic Zones (SEZs), remarked Sichuan University Deputy Dean International Studies Professor Dr Song Zhihui. Speaking at the ICCI, Song stressed that the setting up of SEZs would in turn create new opportunities … Read More

PM chose IMF deal despite alternate solution: Asad Umar

The Pakistan Today (July 27, 2019)

Asad Umar has revealed that Prime Minister Imran Khan was provided with an alternative solution to deal with the country’s financial crunch instead of opting for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout package, a private media outlet reported on Saturday. “In March, I went to the prime minister and showed him the numbers. I told him that going to the… Read More

Pakistan lacks system for recording, reporting debt

The Express Tribune (July 27, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan lacks a consolidated system for recording and reporting its debt and there is also no mechanism to regulate public assets that results in discrepancies and non-reconciliation of hundreds of billions of rupees worth of funds. The final draft report of the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability Assessment (PEFA) 2019 of the World… Read More


IMF Board Members appreciate Pakistan’s resolve to stabilize, revive economy

The News (July 26, 2019)

WASHINGTON: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Reza Baqir had an interactive session with the Executive Directors of the IMF from G-7 countries (i.e. United States, United Kingdom, France, Canada, Italy, Japan and Germany), China, Russia and Switzerland, in their recent visit to…. Read More


Pakistan’s budget has lost credibility: World Bank

The Express Tribune (July 26, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s budget has further lost its credibility and the public finance management system has also deteriorated, according to a draft report of the World Bank that has downgraded the country’s ranking on almost all 31 fiscal management-related indicators. The Washington-based lender shared the final draft of the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability… Read More