Issue 63

Budget Study Centre   Issue 63
April 02, 2020


Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

World Bank approves additional financing of $700m for Dasu power project

The Pakistan Observer (Apr 02, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The World Bank Wednesday approved an additional $700 million financing to help Pakistan generate low-cost, renewable energy to provide affordable electricity supply to millions of users. The Additional Financing for Dasu Hydropower Stage I Project will finance the transmission line to complete the first phase of the Dasu hydropower plant that will install 2,160… Read More

Foreign exchange: SBP reserves fall $804m to $11.2b

The Express Tribune (Apr 02, 2020)

KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank decreased 6.7% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday. On March 27, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $11,185.6 million, down $804 million compared with $11,989.2 million in the previous week… Read More

Rs6 billion package to give railways breathing space

The Express Tribune (Apr 01, 2020)

LAHORE: Cash-strapped Pakistan Railways has managed to secure a relief package of Rs6 billion from the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), which is expected to provide some breathing space to the company in the current crisis. The amount, approved on Monday, would be given to the Ministry of Railways in three equal installments of Rs2 billion per… Read More

FBR collects Rs3.06tr in taxes, misses target

The Express Tribune (Apr 01, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The month of March proved catastrophic for the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) that missed its collection target by a record Rs263 billion despite releasing Rs12 billion fewer tax refunds than what Prime Minister promised to exporters under the just-announced relief package. Cumulatively, the shortfall in nine-month tax collection jumped to Rs693 billion against the… Read More

UN calls for $2.5 trillion coronavirus rescue package for developing countries

The Pakistan Today (Mar 31, 2020)

The United Nations has called for 2.5 trillion dollars coronavirus rescue package for developing countries to boost their resilience to further hardship in wake of coronavirus threat. In an appeal, UNCTAD director of Globalization and Development Strategies, Richard Kozul-Wright, said the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic is likely to get much worse before it gets… Read More

Govt approves Rs43m to set up media wing

The Pakistan Today (Mar 31, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet has approved Rs42.791 million for the creation of a Digital Media Wing in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MoIB) during the current financial year. Documents available with Pakistan Today disclosed that the cabinet had approved the summary of supplementary grant floated by the ministry. The government has decided to create a Digital… Read More

Debate over constutionality of Sri Lanka’s March-May 2020 mini-budget

The Economy Next(Mar 30, 2020)

ECONOMYNEXT – A mini-budget from March to May 2020, drawn up by the Treasury purportedly under presidential powers is unconstitutional as a vote-on-account has already been passed by parliament up to April, ex – Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera had claimed. He said a pre-election budget report referred to the newly drafted mini-budget as a vote-on-account, which… Read More

COVID-19: MoF suspends preparations for next fiscal budget

The Pakistan Today (Mar 30, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Finance has suspended the budget preparations due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “The ministry has suspended for the time being all the activities with regard to budget preparation for the fiscal year 2020-21,” said a source privy to this development. The economic team had issued the budget call circular in January this year, following which the MoF had also gotten… Read More

Govt might suffer Rs400b shortfall in non-tax collection

The Nation (Mar 29, 2020)

ISLAMABAD-The government might suffer shortfall of Rs400 billion in non-tax collection during current fiscal year due to the uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic. The government is unlikely to complete the privatization programme during ongoing fiscal year due to the prevailing situation. The government had projected to generate around Rs400 billion by… Read More

Iran to use 20% of state budget to fight coronavirus

The Middle east monitor (Mar 29, 2020)

Iran is to allocate 20% of its annual state budget to fighting the coronavirus outbreak in the country, one of the worst-hit in the world, President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday, as reported by Reuters. Iran’s death toll from coronavirus rose to 2,517 on Saturday, with 139 fatalities in the past 24 hours, as cases rose 3,076 to 35,408, Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on state television… Read More

Govt likely to earmark Rs270bn in subsidies for FY21

The Pakistan Today (Mar 28, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The federal government is likely to earmark Rs270 billion under the head of ‘subsidies’ for the next fiscal year (FY2020-21), Pakistan Today has learnt. According to sources, the Ministry of Finance, in its budget strategy paper for the next fiscal year, has proposed to keep Rs250 to Rs270 billion for subsidies in FY21. The figure is slightly less than the amount allocated for the same in the… Read More

IMF working on Pakistan’s request of $1.4b

The Nation (Mar 28, 2020)

ISLAMABAD – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is working expeditiously to respond to Pakistan’s request for additional financing of $1.4 billion to increase foreign exchange reserves and budgetary support for fighting adverse impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh had recently said… Read More

India’s economic growth likely to decline by 200 bps in FY21: Yashwant Sinha

The Financial Express (Mar 27, 2020)

India’s economic growth is likely to decline by 2 percentage points in the next financial year due to the impact of coronavirus pandemic and the consequent 21-day countrywide lockdown, former finance minister Yashwant Sinha said on Friday. In an interview to PTI, Sinha said India was already facing high unemployment and the pandemic has added to the woes. “My own… Read More

Making Budgets more Inclusive and Responsive to the Public Needs

The Daily Times by Zia ur Rahman (Mar 27, 2020)

How budget cycle works, what is cut motion, to whom the budget is presented in the first place, what is Budget Call Circular and inclusive budgeting – these are some of the question which need to be addressed since a vast majority of the parliamentarians in the federal and provincial assemblies are not aware of the budget making process, hence unable to play their effective role in… Read More

Pak seeks additional $1.4b from IMF

The Nation (Mar 26, 2020)

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan has decided to seek additional $1.4 billion from International Monetary Fund (IMF) on fast track distribution amid prevailing coronavirus crisis in the country. Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said Pakistan was engaged in talks with the IMF for an additional $1.4 billion on easier terms and conditions. “This sum [of additional … Read More

World Bank, IMF call for suspending debt payment by developing countries

The Pakistan Today (Mar 26, 2020)

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Wednesday urged upon its bilateral creditors to suspend debt payments from International Development Association (IDA) countries to help them combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Pakistan being part of IDA countries, will also get a marginal benefit if the creditor countries agree to the joint… Read More

Russia’s 15% Tax On Dividends, Interest Outflow May Give Budget $890Mln In 2020

The (Mar 25, 2020)

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 25th March, 2020) The proposed 15 percent tax on dividends and interest taken out of Russia will give the country’s budget at least 70 billion rubles ($890 million) this year, Olga Lebedinskaya, associate professor of the Plekhanov Russian Academy of Economics, told Sputnik on Tuesday. Earlier in the day, Russian… Read More

Unanticipated challenge to budget-making process

The Business Recorder (Mar 25, 2020)

The preparations for the budget for fiscal year 2020-21 began late last year, as is the norm, with ministries/ departments projecting their current and development expenditure needs for next year, traditionally overstated to ensure their actual needs are approved by the Ministry of Finance operating under severe resource constraints; and as the… Read More

Monetary policy: SBP slashes interest rate by 150bps to 11%

The Express Tribune (Mar 24, 2020)

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has slashed the key interest rate by another 150 basis points to 11%, in a bid to combat growing uncertainty amid the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement was made in an emergency meeting called by the central bank on Tuesday, a week after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) had cut the interest rates. With this, the SBP has reduced the… Read More

KP Police demand Rs 2,450m additional funds in next budget

The News (Mar 24, 2020)

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pàkhtunkhwa Police have demanded an additional Rs 250 million in terms of fuel for the patrolling cars and Rs 2000 million for procurement of vehicles in the next financial year, a source told The News on Monday. Besides, the force has asked the KP government to allocate and additional Rs 100 million each for the cost of investigation as well as providing basic … Read More

PSDP process overhaul need of the hour in Pakistan

The Express Tribune (Mar 23, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) is the apex development-sector portfolio funded by the government. In the current fiscal year, the total budget allocated to the PSDP was Rs701 billion. The government has spent over Rs11.5 trillion through the PSDP in the last two decades with little improvement in the process. Projects… Read More

Budgeting in the time of Covid-19

The Dawn by Khaleeq Kiani (Mar 23, 2020)

The coronavirus appears to have a contagious economic impact on Pakistan. As federal and provincial authorities sit together reporting situations in their respective sectors and areas, much larger than previously estimated economic losses are coming to the fore and counting. From exports to revenues, from industry to trading, from tourism to entertainment and from transport… Read More

Pakistan’s $300m loan rated ‘moderately unsatisfactory’ by World Bank

The Express Tribune (Mar 22, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: An independent evaluation group of the World Bank has declared that Pakistan could not successfully implement the $300 million budget support loan that the lender had given three years ago for bringing transparency and deepening the financial sector. The findings of the Independent Evaluation Group have once again endorsed the deeply-held view that successive… Read More

Sri Lanka makes mini-budget till May 2020 under Presidential powers

The Economy Next (Mar 21, 2020)

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has made a three month mini-budget running from March to May 2020, using constitutional powers given to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa after parliament was dissolved as the country remains gripped by Coronavirus. Sri Lanka began 2020 with a 4-month mini-budget or vote-on-account running up to April passed by the last parliament. The current… Read More

IMF to give tax break to businesses hit by corona

The Express Tribune (Mar 21, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed with Pakistan to give tax breaks to businesses being affected by the global coronavirus pandemic but Islamabad does not feel the need to renegotiate the $6 billion package, which may also make next year’s tax collection target unrealistic. “The IMF has agreed to give tax concessions to industries and individuals,… Read More

Federal govt releases Rs 12.13bn for CPEC projects under PSDP 2019-20

The Nation (Mar 20, 2020)

The government has so far released development funds of over Rs 12.13 billion for various development projects of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) under its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2019-20. According to latest data issued by the ministry of Planning on Thursday, the government had allocated Rs 18 billion for around 20 projects of CPEC for the year 2019-20… Read More

Missing points in budget strategy paper

The Business Recorder (Mar 20, 2020)

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan waxed eloquent as usual about the finance ministry’s many achievements as she explained its Budget Strategy Paper for 2020, duly approved by cabinet, to the press, yet there was precious little about new measures to meet growth and revenue challenges over the rest of the year. The Paper… Read More