Issue 67

Budget Study Centre   Issue 67
May 28, 2020


Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

Proposals for Punjab budget: OICCI suggests harmonisation of taxes

The News (May 28, 2020)

LAHORE: Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) suggested that in line with international and regional practices a uniform service tax law may be drafted and agreed upon by the tax authorities of the provinces and federal government, for implementation in their respective jurisdiction. Furthermore, a uniform tax return may also be introduced for the taxpayers. Read More

Budget 2020-21: PTI govt to focus on relief for people, business

The Express Tribune (May 28, 2020)

KARACHI: The government is determined to announce a pro-people, pro-business and no-new-tax budget for the next fiscal year starting July 1. Rather, the FY21 budget would be a continuity of the current policies of facilitating the masses and businesses to win the war against the coronavirus pandemic, officials said. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is being tasked to collect Rs5,100 billion… Read More

Balancing the budget

The News (May 27, 2020)

Najeeb Many think this should be a corona budget. Maybe it is more than that – a survival budget for the millions of citizens and businesses who need a lending hand. The pre-Covid-19 economy was saddled with a plethora of headwinds besieging growth to mere 1.9 percent in FY19 and to 2 percent in FY20. Budget FY21 has to design a blockbuster response to a shrinking economy between -0.38 percent… Read More

Islamabad traders demand hike in development budget

The Express Tribune (May 27, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: An umbrella body of traders and businessmen from the federal capital have called upon the federal government to enhance budgetary allocations for the city in the upcoming budget to ensure proper development there. This was stated by Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Ahmed Waheed in a statement on Tuesday. He demanded that… Read More

China’s Defense Budget Set to Grow at Slower Pace

The (May 26, 2020)

China has announced a defense budget for 2020 that will result in a year-on-year nominal increase of 6.6 percent, the lowest such figure since the first half of the 1990s. Chinese officials announced on May 22 a topline defense figure of 1.268 trillion yuan, which amounts to $178 billion. The earmark for 2019 amounted to CNY1.19 trillion, or $173 billion. This represented an increase over… Read More

World Bank approves $500mn loan for Pakistan in fight against Covid-19

The (May 26, 2020)

The World Bank has approved a $500mn loan programme for Pakistan to provide better opportunities for women, strengthen its social safety nets and improve access to quality healthcare and education as the country continues to bear the brunt of the coronavirus. The Securing Human Investments to Foster Transformation (SHIFT) programme will support policy reforms to help Pakistan’s… Read More

B150bn from future budgets may be used

The Bangkok Post (May 25, 2020)

The government is set to reallocate 150 billion baht from the 2020 and 2021 fiscal budgets if additional funds for economic and social restoration are needed to blunt the fallout from the pandemic, says the Budget Bureau. The 150 billion baht will be spent if either the existing 400 billion baht earmarked for economic and social rehabilitation is insufficient or the global economy has… Read More

Market likely to remain range-bound till budget update

The News (May 24, 2020)

The capital market showed lacklustre performance owing to shortened week because of long Eid holidays, while lack of surprises on interest rate front and continuous selling from foreign fund houses. The capital market showed lacklustre performance owing to shortened week because of long Eid holidays, while lack of surprises on interest rate front and continuous selling from foreign fund houses squeezed the… Read More

Budgeting in a pandemic

The News (May 24, 2020)

Adviser to the PM on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, in a press release issued on May 18, 2020, noted that while preparing the next budget, “we should be more vigilant, practical, and analyze the opportunities and challenges offered by the current environment”. He added that the “government is ready to listen to all stakeholders to prepare a budget which is according to the need… Read More

China’s military budget growth slows to 6.6%

The News (May 23, 2020)

Beijing: China will increase its military budget by a slower 6.6 percent this year, the government announced Friday at the opening session of its annual National People’s Congress. The budget will be set at 1.268 trillion yuan ($178 billion) for the year — the second-biggest in the world after the United States — continuing a downward trend in military spending and lower than last year’s increase of 7.5 percent… Read More

Pakistan borrows $7.381b from external sources in 10 months of current FY

The Nation (May 23, 2020)

ISLAMABAD-Pakistan’s borrowing from external sources had remained lower in ten months (July to April) of the current fiscal year due to out-break of COVID-19 as the pandemic has completely halted the development activities across the country. Pakistan had borrowed $7.381 billion from the external sources in Jul to April of the current fiscal year. The government’s borrowing from… Read More

Minimal role of parliament in federal budget highlighted

The Pakistan Observer (May 22, 2020)

Islamabad: In a PILDAT organized online course on Parliament and the Purse Strings, speakers and participating MPs highlighted the negligible role of Parliament in influencing and scrutinizing federal budget and agreed that multi-party consensus is required to enhance Parliament’s role in the Federal Budget process. Power of the purse or control on purse strings is one of the most… Read More

Pakistan’s current account deficit soars to $572m

The Express Tribune (May 22, 2020)

KARACHI: Pakistan’s current account deficit – the difference between country’s expenditure and income – spiked to $572 million in April 2020 but remained largely under control and affordable on the back of recent growth in the country’s foreign currency reserves. The current account deficit soared 64-fold in April compared to $9 million in the previous month of March, the State Bank of… Read More

China announces $178.2 billion military budget

The Defense News (May 22, 2020)

MELBOURNE, Australia — China has announced a 6.6 percent growth in its defense budget for this year, its lowest rate of increase for almost three decades. The growth in China’s defense budget would see spending rise from $167 billion last year to $178.2 billion, an increase of about $11 billion. The country has the second-largest defense budget in the world, behind only the United States. Despite the,… Read More

Govt to present FY21 budget on June 12

The Pakistan Today (May 21, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The federal government will present the federal budget for financial year 2020-21 before the National Assembly on June 12, sources said on Thursday, adding that Prime Minister Imran Khan has already granted the necessary approval in this regard. Sources said officers of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) engaged in preparing the federal budget have been barred from… Read More

Budget 2020-21: CM Buzdar directs departments to cut unnecessary expenditures

The Dunya News (May 21, 2020)

LAHORE (Dunya News) – Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has directed the provincial departments to cut unnecessary expenditures as novel coronavirus has created difficult circumstances, Dunya News reported on Thursday. Usman Buzdar chaired a special session at the CM Office to deliberate on the upcoming budget and annual development… Read More

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa slashes uplift budget by 50 per cent

The Pakistan Today (May 20, 2020)

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has slashed the developmental budget by 50 per cent for the ongoing financial year due to the coronavirus-induced financial crisis. Sources told Pakistan Today that due to the failure of the federal government to disburse net hydel profit, state transfers and other funds to provincial government, the province has reduced its… Read More

Pakistan’s economy size shrinks to $264b

The News (May 19, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: With the contraction of Pakistan’s GDP growth rate that falls into zero range at negative -0.38 percent for the outgoing fiscal year, the total size of the country’s economy and per capita income are expected to shrink significantly in terms of dollar in post Covid-19 pandemic. The total size of Pakistan’s economy in terms of dollars has decreased up to US$264 billion for outgoing fiscal year… Read More

IMF proposes Rs575 billion new taxes in next budget

The Express Tribune (May 18, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has proposed Rs5,100 billion revenue target in the next budget for fiscal 2020-21, including additional tax measures of Rs575 billion, sources told The Express Tribune on Tuesday. A senior Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) official said that in the recent talks with the IMF via a video link, the Fund had been cautioned that business sectors had… Read More

Budgetary policies in times of virus

The Express Tribune (May 18, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s policymakers are in an unenviable position while formulating the upcoming fiscal year’s budget. Everyone from small and medium enterprises to large-scale manufacturing industries is looking for relief measures to cope with the Covid-19 crisis. Even without the pandemic, many would expect some relief in the existing taxation regime as the government is reaching the… Read More

‘Upcoming budget to be challenging for government’

The News (May 18, 2020)

Islamabad: Senior vice president of FPCCI Business Panel and President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum Mian Zahid Hussain has said the budget-making process amid crisis will be a challenge for the government. The upcoming budget should be a traditional one but a modern document to provide some relief to the masses. It should not focus… Read More

Murad says next Sindh budget to be impacted by coronavirus

The Dawn (May 17, 2020)

KARACHI: Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday said that the budget for the next financial year would be impacted by coronavirus. “Therefore, a new strategy has been worked out under which priorities will be given to health services, employment generation, social security, and innovation in education sector,” he added. This he said while presiding over a meeting to set a strategy for the budget… Read More

Budget to focus on health services, employment generation, says CM

The Pakistan Today (May 17, 2020)

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the budget for next financial year, 2020-21, will be coronavirus impact-oriented; according to which priorities would be given to health services, employment generation, social security, and innovation in the education sector. The chief minister was presiding over a meeting to set a strategy for the upcoming budget… Read More

Govt may reduce development budget to Rs530bn in FY21

The Pakistan Today (May 16, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: As the Covid-19 pandemic has left limited room for the government to spend on development projects, the Centre has planned to allocate only Rs530 billion to Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the next fiscal year, a reduction of almost Rs171 billion from the current fiscal year. According to an official privy to this development, Planning Minister Asad Umar, while… Read More

Govt plans to boost health, social sectors in upcoming budget
The Pakistan Today (May 15, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: To counter the adverse impact of the coronavirus, the federal government on Friday decided to give priority to the social as well as health sectors in the next budget for fiscal year 2020-21. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh with regard to the budgetary outlook for the next financial… Read More

Pakistan’s GDP to grow 2% in FY21

The Express Tribune (May 15, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: With the projection of up to 1.5% negative gross domestic product (GDP) growth owing to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic in FY20, the country’s economy is expected to turn around to record 2% growth in the new fiscal year (2020-21), Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said on Thursday. Participating in a webinar on “Pakistan’s Economy… Read More