Issue 54

Budget Study Centre   Issue 54
Nov 28, 2019


Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

SBP reserves rise $240m to $8.68bn

The Pakistan Today (Nov 28, 2019)

The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank rose 2.84pc on a weekly basis, as per the data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday. On November 22, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $8,682.3 million, up $240 million compared with $8,442.1 million in the previous week. The central bank attributed the increase to official … Read More

Leakages in transit trade badly hurt economy

The Express Tribune (Nov 28, 2019)

KARACHI: The misuse of Afghan transit trade still remains the biggest issue that is badly hitting Pakistan’s economy but the government is working on a plan to clear about 90-95% of imports without physical inspection by 2023-24. “If you ask me what is the biggest problem for me as a law enforcer in Pakistan, I will say it is the abuse and leakages in the Afghan transit trade,” Federal Board of… Read More

Credible deficit plan to help Sri Lanka sell $3 billion of bonds annually

The Gulf News (Nov 27, 2019)

Colombo: Sri Lanka must come up with a plan to narrow its budget deficit as the top Asian issuer of sovereign dollar debt after China this year prepares to sell $3 billion of bonds annually. The island-nation, which elected Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as its president last week, has to raise debt commercially to service earlier borrowings, Central Bank… Read More

Pakistan’s Economic Woes and the Way Forward

The Daily Times (Nov 27, 2019)

Pakistan is a country blessed with enormous natural reserves and manpower. Still, it is plunged in a downward spiral of economic recession. Some of the obvious reasons are bad governance, corruption, nepotism and impediments towards entrepreneurship and investments (both by domestic and foreign investors). Moreover, a miserable tax system has also added insult… Read More

The downside of Pakistan’s economy

The Business Recorder (Nov 26, 2019)

The government has recently been making frequent positive statements about on-going developments in the economy. Rightfully, success in the process of stabilization has been highlighted. The current account in the balance of payments was transformed into a surplus in October. Over the four-month period, July to October, the current account deficit has declined by as much as 74 percent. However, this has … Read More

Pakistan receives $1 billion in hot foreign money

The Express Tribune (Nov 26, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Foreign investors have bought over $1 billion worth of Pakistan government’s debt, said Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Monday – an amount that is equal to the increase in official foreign exchange reserves in the current fiscal year. Central bank data showed that the money was predominantly invested in three-month treasury bills, suggesting that foreign investors … Read More

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: US claims about loans, their impact on economy rejected: Qureshi

The Business Recorder (Nov 25, 2019)

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Sunday said the process of transparent accountability would continue in the country. Talking to media here, he said no one wanted to face accountability process, and whenever people were held accountable, they attempt to create hindrances in the way of the accountability process. Responding to a question about Asif Ali… Read More

AIIB okays $511 million for Pakistan’s infrastructural projects

Daily Nation (Nov 25, 2019)

ISLAMABAD – Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will finance $511.81 million for four projects for the infrastructural development in Pakistan, mainly related to roads, energy, sanitation and mass transit. The amount has been approved for the projects including National Motorway M-4 of $100 million, Tarbela Hydropower Extension Projects $300 million… Read More

Retailers feel pinch of economic slowdown in Pakistan

Daily Express Tribune (Nov 24, 2019)

LAHORE: Pakistan’s retail sector is looking for some breathing space to remain sustainable during the ongoing economic slowdown. “The recent hike in taxes on the retail sector has caused turmoil and uncertainty,” said Chainstore Association of Pakistan Chairman Tariq Mehboob. “In fact, many retailers, which represent the organised retail sector, are initiating cost-cutting measures,… Read More

‘Pakistan in better position to attract investment’

The Express Tribune (Nov 24, 2019)

LAHORE: Pakistani handmade furniture products have great potential to capture world market with excellent modern designing, said Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar. Speaking at the 11th Interiors Pakistan exhibition held at Expo Centre Lahore, he said that Pakistan was moving forward and was in a better position to attract foreign investment. He appreciated the Pakistan… Read More

CPEC to push Pakistan deeper into debt burden, cautions US

The Dawn by Anwar Iqbal (Nov 23, 2019)

WASHINGTON: The United States has warned Pakistan that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would push the country deeper into an already stifling debt burden, foster corruption and repatriate jobs and profits to China. In a speech, described as “unusually specific” by the international media, the top US diplomat for South Asia warned on Thursday that the multi-billion-dollar project would take a toll on Pakistan’s … Read More

Encouraging economic indicators

The Pakistan Today by Muhammad Zahid (Nov 23, 2019)

Any country’s progress, development and prosperity is linked with the national growth rate both directly and indirectly. If the economic growth rate is good, then there is lot of relief for the people at large. Pakistan is a developing country and its economic growth rate is not so high and keeps going up and down due to various factors every now and then…Read More

Big industry contracts 5.9pc in 3MFY20

The Pakistan Today (Nov 22, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Despite positive economic indicators like reduction in current account deficit and jump in the stock exchange, the fall in Large Scale Manufacturing Industries (LSMI) remains the major concern for the country. The overall output of the LSM Index decreased by 5.91pc during the first quarter (July-Sept) of FY20, as compared to the corresponding period of last fiscal year… Read More

Monetary policy: SBP leaves interest rate unchanged at 13.25%

The Express Tribune (Nov 22, 2019)

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) left the benchmark interest rate unchanged at the eight-year high of 13.25% for the next two months as controlling high inflation may remain a big challenge in the short run.
The decision taken by the SBP Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) was largely in line with market expectations. The policy is an effective tool available with the central bank to tame … Read More

In Pakistan, bottlenecks hold up $14b foreign loans

The Express Tribune (Nov 21, 2019)

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday directed expeditious release of $14 billion stuck up foreign loans against the ongoing development projects. The directive came as the bureaucracy fails to finalise a viable action plan to remove bottlenecks to unlock the much-needed stimulus funds. Over a month after The Express Tribune reported that $21.6 billion… Read More

Foreign exchange: SBP reserves rise $45m to $8.44b

The Express Tribune (Nov 21, 2019)

KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank rose 0.5% 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

Impact of industrial operations on economy of Pakistan

The News by Muhammad Mudassar (Nov 20, 2019)

Industrialization plays a vital role in the economic development of underdeveloped countries. As the historical record shows, the developed countries of the world broke the vicious cycle of poverty by industrializing, rather than focusing on agricultural or the production of national resources. Currently, Pakistan, as a developing … Read More

CPEC: unprecedented boost to Pakistan’s economy

The Pakistan Observer (Nov 20, 2019)

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), massive bilateral project to improve infrastructure within Pakistan for better trade with China and to further integrate the countries of the region. The project was launched on April 20, 2015 when Chinese President Xi Jinping and the then Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif signed 51 agreements and Memorandums of Understanding… Read More

Tackling economic woes

The News by Abdul Sattar (Nov 19, 2019)

The recent statement of Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing augurs well for the debilitating economy of the country. The envoy while talking to the media recently in Quetta said that China is setting up 19 factories in Gwadar. He expressed the desire of his government to contribute towards the development of Balochistan’s mining, agriculture… Read More

Economy showing signs of improvement: SBP governor

The Pakistan Today (Nov 19, 2019)

KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Reza Baqir on Monday said the economy has begun to show signs of improvement, adding that inflation would start easing soon as a result of the new measures. Addressing the business community at Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Baqir said the SBP has always made efforts to facilitate trade and industry as better… Read More

CPEC to help expand industrial base, exports of Pakistan: Khusro

The (Nov 18, 2019)

ISLAMABAD, Nov 18 (APP):Minister for Planning, Development and Refomrs Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar on Monday said that under next phase of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the industrial base of the country would be expanded, eventually to help increase the exports. The minister said that China had total trade volume worth of $4000 billion with the world …Read More

Circular Debt To Be Eliminated By Dec 2020: Hafeez Shaikh

The (Nov 18, 2019)

ISLAMABAD, (APP – Urdu Point / Pakistan Point News – 18th Nov, 2019 ):Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Hafeez Shaikh Monday reiterated the government resolve to eliminate the issue of circular debt by December 2020. Briefing the leading anchorpersons of electronic media about economic performance … Read More

Pakistan’s fiscal dilemma

The News (Nov 17, 2019)

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in its Annual Report 2018-19—The State of Pakistan’s Economy has strongly criticised the provinces for what it called their “lack of institutional capacity,” giving rise to “lower revenue collection that contributed less to tax-to-GDP ratio and fiscal consolidation efforts”. The report further noted that “an important agenda on … Read More

CPEC effect: Taiwanese textile companies may relocate to Pakistan

The Express Tribune (Nov 17, 2019)

LAHORE: Being a cheap labour market, Pakistan can transform into an excellent destination for Taiwanese textile companies, which are willing to relocate their units outside Vietnam, said Taiwan Textile Federation President Justin Huang. “At present, Vietnam is crowded, which causes difficulties for Taiwanese textile firms there, such as labour shortages,” … Read More

Military budget should go to common sense

The Bulletin (Nov 16, 2019)

With U.S. support for NATO waning, President Macron of France recently accused the organization of being “brain dead,” a remark undoubtedly intended to prod more robust EU leadership. Not that America’s lead’s been exemplary. Take, for example, Operation Allied Force, NATO’s 1999 air campaign over Kosovo, General Wesley Clark supreme commander. Critics called it … Read More

Pakistan saves $3.9b as trade losses decrease

The (Nov 15, 2019)

Pakistan’s trade deficit has fallen by 33.52% in the first four months of the current fiscal year in comparison to the same time last year, according to recent figures by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.This means the country has saved over $3.9 billion–the difference between the trade loss from the first quarters of last year and this year. Trade deficit figures for the current fiscal year’s first… Read More

Pakistan will thrive as more women participate in economy

The (Nov 15, 2019)

ISLAMABAD, Nov 15 (APP):Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar, at the US-Pakistan Women in the Economy Symposium, Friday said Pakistan will thrive as more women participate in the economy.
At the event hosted by the George H W Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University in… Read More

Pakistan’s economy has finally stabilised: PM

The Express Tribune (Nov 15, 2019)

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said the country’s economy has finally stabilised and was moving in the right direction. While addressing the signing ceremony of Super-6 Wind Power Projects in Islamabad, the premier said there is so much potential for hydro-electricity in Pakistan, and the new project will provide affordable and environmentally friendly clean energy… Read More