Issue 50

Budget Study Centre   Issue 50
Oct 03, 2019


Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

Foreign exchange: SBP reserves dip $724m to $7.7b

Express Tribune (Oct 03, 2019)

KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank plunged 8.54% on a weekly basis, slipping below the $8-billion mark, 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

Inflation jumps 11.4pc in September

The Dawn (Oct 03, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Inflation surged by 11.4 per cent year-on-year in September from, reported the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Wednesday. Inflation, measured through the Consumer Price Index (CPI), edged up by 0.77pc over the previous month after PBS revised its calculation methodology. Based on the new base year (2015-16), September inflation came in at 11.37pc… Read More

Punjab finance minister seeks clarity ahead of PFC award

The Express Tribune (Oct 02, 2019)

LAHORE: Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht asked the finance department to get explanations on Section 189 and 190 of new Local Government Act 2019 so that no lacuna is left once the provincial government awards the next Provincial Finance Commission (PFC). The minister also instructed the local government department to provide updated records of local government… Read More

Pakistan will not return to IMF again: SBP chief

The Express Tribune (Oct 01, 2019)

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) governor is quite hopeful that the latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme will be the last one and Pakistan will not need to go back to the lender in future. The recent structural reforms implemented under commitments made with the IMF had started providing much-needed support to the economy to enable it to stand on its own feet… Read More

Pakistan, Germany agree to boost economic cooperation

The APP (Oct 01, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Senate Chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani Tuesday said that Pakistan valued its bilateral relations with Germany and desired to further expand mutual collaboration in different sectors to bring people of the both the countries closer. He emphasized the need to further strengthen the existing bilateral relations between Pakistan and Germany through… Read More

Sri Lanka budget deficit reaches 4.4-pct of GDP by July

The (Sep 30, 2019)

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s budget deficit expanded to 684 about 4.4 percent of estimated gross domestic product by July 2019, up from 3.2 percent in 2019, as revenues were hit in the wake of a currency fall last year, official data shows. Sri Lanka budgeted a 4.4 percent of GDP deficit (685 billion rupees) for the full year 2019. Total revenues fell 4.4 percent from a year earlier to 1,031.9 billion rupees to… Read More

Macro-economy, IMF and local pressures

The Daily Times (Sep 30, 2019)

The IMF mission recently on a visit to Pakistan gave an optimistic prognosis as Pakistan’s economy is recovering and has shown progress with a decline in current account deficit and has projected a growth rate of 2.4 percent. The IMF mission stated that “Pakistan’s economic program is off to a promising start, but decisive implementation is critical to pave the way for stronger and sustainable… Read More

Contrasting outlook: Economists upbeat on growth prospects

The Pakistan Today (Sep 29, 2019)

KARACHI: Pakistan based economists have estimated growth of gross domestic product (GDP) better than the ones anticipated by international and regional lending institutions for the current fiscal year 2019-20. They expected GDP growth within the range of 2.5-3.5% compared to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) forecast of 2.4% and Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) 2.8% for … Read More

Pakistan on fast track to reap CPEC benefits, says Chinese envoy

The Pakistan Today (Sep 29, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing on Sunday lauded Pakistan’s rising status as an economically developing country, as he revealed significant progress made on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects along with upcoming developments. He expressed was addressing the participants of the ‘Friends of Silk Road’ forum her held under the aegis… Read More

Consumers show low confidence in Pakistan’s economy: survey

The Express Tribune (Sep 28, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: People’s confidence in the economy has declined in Pakistan as compared to India and global trends but respondents still have hope for improvement in the situation in the next six months, according to an Ipsos opinion poll. Ipsos – global market research and consulting firm – has conducted a survey in Pakistan for its first wave of Global… Read More

Peddling knowledge to those on a budget

The Express Tribune (Sep 28, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: In a country where the pristine aisles of high-end bookstores often cater only to the elite, many throng weekly book bazaars in the quest to find more affordable and often used editions of their favourite pieces of literature. Laid on sidewalks or piled by a public square, these roadside vendors offer a variety of books ranging from history and politics to… Read More

ADB’s assessment

The Express Tribune (Sep 27, 2019)

Pakistan’s economy is having a hard time is no revelation. While the incumbent government, led by Prime Minister Imran Khan, is doing all it can to treat the ills, many an economic expert believe it is the remedy that has worsened the malady. The policies adopted by current economic managers, meant to achieve economic stability in a country with negligible FDI and exports totalling half as much as…Read More

Pakistan in midst of economic crisis says UN body

The Dawn (Sep 27, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The ‘Trade and Development Report 2019’ released by the United Nations on Thursday says that Pakistan’s economic crisis has not been resolved despite the fact that support from China and Saudi Arabia and a large IMF loan have helped address the immediate problem. In a brief comment on Pakistan in the Asia section, UNCTAD’s annual flagship report went on to say that “Pakistan is in the midst… Read More

Pakistan is no longer a pawn, a joke, a bystander on the world stage’

The News (Sep 26, 2019)

Pakistan has emerged as a responsible global player and a harbinger of peace under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, according to an article recently published in British publication The Independent. It was just a year back, that cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan was unable to suppress a jubilant expression as his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was elected into power. His victory… Read More

Slowdown to persist as stabilisation advances: ADB

The Dawn (Sep 26, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday forecast Pakistan’s economy to slow down further and set the GDP growth target at 2.8 per cent for FY20 given the need for government to address sizable fiscal and external balances. The ADB’s ‘Asian Development Outlook 2019 Update’ said fiscal adjustments would suppress domestic demand, and demand… Read More

Pakistan economy continues to stabilize amidst strong headwinds

The (Sep 25, 2019)

ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) – Pakistan’s economy in fiscal year (FY) 2019, which ended on 30 June, is showing signs of recovery as the government’s fiscal consolidation and austerity measures to address the structural weaknesses started to take effect. However, the growth rate moderated to 3.3% during the period reflecting persistent macroeconomic imbalances and heightened external challenges… Read More

Asian Development Bank issues outlook report for Pakistan

The Dawn (Sep 25, 2019)

The Asian Development Bank’s Asian Development Outlook 2019 (ADO) reaffirms that the country’s economy is expected to grow slower than last year, with GDP growth projected at 2.8 per cent in fiscal year 2020. The ADO, released on Wednesday, notes that growth in Pakistan had decelerated during fiscal year 2019 and this reflected “lower investment amid policy uncertainty… Read More

Economic Watch: An open China, a beacon for world economy

The XINHUANET (Sep 24, 2019)

BEIJING, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) — From a semi-closed nation that barely had any overseas contact, to a world economic engine with high-level opening up in all aspects, China has made miracles in expanding its market and contributing to the world. Since China set up four special economic zones in Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Shantou and Xiamen in 1980, the country’s steps of opening up its market have never stopped… Read More

Afghan transit trade ‘hurting Pakistan’s economy’

The Arab News (Sep 24, 2019)

September 24: The Express Tribune report by Rizwan Asif states that the Directorate General of Trade functioning under the administration of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has revealed in its report that the Afghan transit and the Afghan imports were negatively affecting Pakistan’s economy and were the basic components of black economy in Pakistan… Read More

IMF Program

The Business Recorder (Sep 23, 2019)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Director Middle East and Central Asia Department Jihad Azour, including the mission leader for the 6 billion dollar Extended Fund Facility programme approved by the Fund Board on 3 July 2019, in a handout stated that “the near term macroeconomic outlook is broadly changed from the time of the programme approval with growth… Read More

Pakistan’s economy heading in right direction: PM

The APP (Sep 23, 2019)

NEW YORK, Sep 23 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday said despite the momentous challenge of
the biggest ever current account deficit inherited by his government, they had been restructuring the country’s economy which has now been put on the right track. Responding to questions during a conversation with in the US based think-tank Council on Foreign Relations…Read More

Over 30 percent of Pakistan’s workers laid off amid economic meltdown — industry insiders

The Arab News (Sep 22, 2019)

KARACHI: Pakistan’s economic meltdown has eroded between 30 and 40 percent jobs from the country’s labor market, pushing more people below the poverty line, as the country takes tough measures to implement conditions attached to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout package, traders and economists said. Pakistan’s ruling… Read More

Pakistan gets $1.5b worth of foreign loans in Jul-Aug

The Express Tribune (Sep 22, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan received $1.5 billion or Rs237 billion worth of foreign loans in first two months of the current fiscal year, higher by 108% over the same period of the previous year, aimed at meeting the country’s financing needs. Foreign disbursements have started picking up following signing of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme, which seeks $38… Read More

US, Pakistan to improve economic engagement

The News (Sep 21, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The United States and Pakistan on Friday agreed to concentrate American-funded programs on economic growth, improving energy sector and other priority areas. The agreement was made during a meeting between the US Ambassador to Pakistan Paul Jones and Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar. Officials of the United States Agency… Read More

Inflation to dip, risks still there

The News by Mehtab Haider (Sep 21, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has asked Pakistan to avoid repetition of one-off factors that escalated the worse than expected budget deficit, in the last fiscal and now it should not jeopardise the current fiscal year’s targets. “The IMF staff and Pakistani authorities have analysed the worse than expected fiscal results of FY2018/19, which were partially the … Read More

Russian budget: Stability still a priority but pressure to spend remains

The MENAFN (Sep 20, 2019)

(MENAFN – ING) The budget still focuses on macro stability The new parameters of the 2019-2022 budget, that received preliminary approval by the government is advertised as focused on economic growth, however, new projections are not that different from the ones presented a year ago. We interpret this as more of a verbal response to GDP growth concerns rather than an actual… Read More

IMF asks Pakistan to consider longer SBP governor term

The News (Sep 20, 2019)

KARACHI: International Monetary Fund (IMF ) on Thursday proposed Pakistan to extend the central bank governor’s term up to five years from three to strengthen the institution’s independence, which has been questioned in past owing to repeated political interference in monetary and exchange rate policies. “The tenure of the governor needs to be lengthened… Read More