Issue 70

Budget Study Centre   Issue 70
July 09, 2020


Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

China’s debt trap increases amid budget deficit, BRI roadblock

The Wionews (July 09, 2020)

China’s boom has been powered by debt as the Communist Party began chasing superpower status with a credit card and the world knows when you buy something with a credit card, you are spending money that you don’t really have and one day you will have to return it.  The Communist Party has set ambitious targets for itself. It wants to dominate this century and wants to be the ultimate… Read More

Another VoA likely with Budget for 2021 in Nov.

The Daily FT (July 09, 2020)

Once Parliament is convened in August, the Government is likely to bring a Vote on Account (VoA) to cover public finances for the rest of 2020, its third for the year, and then present a Budget for 2021 in November, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) said yesterday.  Speaking to reporters at the SLPP Head Office, National Organiser Basil Rajapaksa said that they were planning to present a VoA for this… Read More

Japanese protection service to sell off military gear to boost budget

The Nation (July 08, 2020)

“Back Serve Taro Aso told us to think around how to extend the budget, and I trust that within the future we’ll be able to induce stores for at slightest one F-35 warrior fly. All stores will go to the state treasury, but I think that the endeavors of the resistance service will be taken under consideration amid the [allotment] of the budget,” Kono said, as cited by the NHK broadcaster… Read More

Budget deficit in first four months expands to 2.9%

The Daily Mirror (July 08, 2020)

Sri Lanka’s budget deficit for January through April expanded to 2.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), from 2.3 percent in the corresponding period, last year, as the coronavirus lockdowns sapped the tax revenues while the government had to step up spending on containing the virus and keeping the essential services up and running. However, the government… Read More

Pakistan on brink of Covid-19 financial collapse

The Asia Times (July 07, 2020)

PESHAWAR – Pakistan’s financial woes are going from bad to worse as the national fiscal deficit surges to over 7% of gross domestic product (GDP) and could breach 9-10% as state revenues dry up amid Covid-19 economic devastation. That’s raising questions among analysts and business executives of whether the country is headed towards a budgetary blowout-induced financial collapse… Read More

Sri Lanka says making progress with IMF program, budget support

The Economy Next (July 07, 2020)

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is making progress with a program with the International Monetary Fund with other lenders also joining in with budget support, Treasury Secretary S R Attygalle said. Other lenders would also provide more than a billion US dollars in budget finance along with the IMF program, Attygalle said. Sri Lanka has lined up funding from a number of lenders including 300… Read More

IUB syndicate approves Rs5.38b budget

The Pakistan Observer (July 06, 2020)

Bahawalpur: The Syndicate of the Islamia University of Bahawalpur has approved budget of estimated Rs. 5387.983 million for the financial year 2020-21 besides giving node to re-structural plan to enhance number of faculties and teaching departments. According to the spokesman of the university Shahzad Ahmad Khalid, the 74th meeting of the syndicate held under the… Read More

Budget and development priorities

The Express Tribune (July 05, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: According to the theoretical knowledge of economic planning, fiscal budget is a short-run economic plan of revenues and expenditures of a nation. It paves the way for mid-term targets and long-run economic plan of the country. The objectives and goals of the long-run economic plan are dissected into mid-term and short-term economic plans. The fiscal budget is, therefore… Read More

Reading between the lines

The Express Tribune (July 05, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: In his budget speech in the National Assembly, Federal Minister for Industries Hammad Azhar stated that the expected recession due to Covid-19 called for an expansionary fiscal policy. Having said that, he went on to present the budget with total federal expenditures of Rs7,137 billion against the revised budget estimate of Rs8,345.3 billion in the previous fiscal year… Read More

Over Rs 5 billion allocated for health facilities in budget: mayor

The Business Recorder (July 05, 2020)

KARACHI: Mayor Karachi Wasim Akhtar on Sunday said that over Rs5 billion has been earmarked in the new fiscal year’s budget 2020-21 for provision of better health and medical facilities to the people of Karachi. He said coronavirus testing facility at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital has increased the people’s confidence in Karachi Metropolitan Corporation. We are trying to expand facilities at Karachi… Read More

$6 bn IMF programme: Govt needs to do electricity, gas tariff adjustments

The News (July 04, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Even after approval of the budget for 2020-21 from Parliament, the IMF sponsored programme of $6 billion for Pakistan hangs in balance where Islamabad will have to comply with tariff adjustments on electricity and gas as well as to undertake reform path to evolve staff level agreement on completion of second review. The IMF programme has literally been stalled at the moment and … Read More

Budget Satisfaction

The Nation (July 04, 2020)

It has not been a good financial year. The coronavirus epidemic has taken a large toll on the economy, not only with the lockdown and the drop in consumer purchasing power, but also with regards to the funds that the government has had to allocate to combat the pandemic. Perhaps even more disastrously, the swarm of locust attacking crops in the country has posed a great threat to… Read More

Pakistani exporters fear tax refunds will remain stuck in FY21

The Express Tribune (July 03, 2020)

KARACHI: Textile exporters have voiced fear the government will not be able to release the stuck sales tax refund claims in the new fiscal year as well because billions of rupees worth of exporters’ liquidity is still lying with the government, which has not been released earlier. “Textile exporters are deliberating whether to continue operating the industrial units or close them down permanently,”… Read More

Asad credits treasury, Opp for smooth budget passage

The News (July 03, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser Thursday said maximum opportunity was given to the members to take part in the general debate and other processes involved in passage of budget 2020-21. “As many as 107 members from the treasury and 101 members from the opposition took part in the general discussion on the budget,” he said while talking to Adviser to the Prime… Read More

East, Korangi and West DMCs approve budgets

The Express Tribune (July 02, 2020)

KARACHI: The East, West and Korangi district municipal corporations (DMCs) presented the budgets for the fiscal year 2020-21 on Wednesday. Korangi Korangi DMC chairperson Syed Nayyar Raza and Korangi DMC vice-chairperson Syed Ahmer Ali presented the budget, with an outlay of Rs4.39 billion and targeting a surplus of Rs915,847, during a council meeting… Read More

Tax free budget to address economic woes of common man: NA speaker

The Dunyanews (July 02, 2020)

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Advisor to the Prime Minister Dr Zaheer uddin Babar Awan called on National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser in the Parliament House and discussed various issues encompassing parliamentary business and smooth conduct of budget session of the National Assembly. Parliamentary business to be taken up in the forthcoming session of the National Assembly was… Read More

Budget approval

The Express Tribune (July 01, 2020)

That the federal budget has been passed by the National Assembly is no news. If there is anything that came out as news from the assembly’s budget session on Monday, it is the score line. The government managed 160 votes against the opposition’s 119 at the time of passage of clause nine of the Finance Bill 2020-21. And the same turned out to be the final score, as the opposition — having been defeated… Read More

WB approves $500m loan for Pakistan’s budget support

The Dawn (July 01, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The World Bank (WB) on Tuesday announced that it has approved another $500 million loan to Pakistan for the country’s budget support following its increased expenditures on Covid-19 crisis response. In a statement, the bank said its board of directors approved the financing for the Resilient Institutions for Sustainable Economy (RISE) programme to help Pakistan strengthen fiscal… Read More

Budget 2020-21 sails through NA

The News (June 30, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly (NA) on Monday passed the Finance Bill 2020 with a total outlay of Rs7,294.9 billion amid sloganeering and protest from the opposition giving legal effect to the budgetary proposals for next fiscal year. The amendments proposed by the opposition in the Finance Bill, 2020 were rejected by the House. The government also shattered hopes of… Read More

Govt succeeds in passing FY21 budget amid Opp’s protests

The Pakistan Today (June 30, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: After a long and noisy debate on the proposed Finance Bill for the fiscal year 2020-2021 on Monday, the National Assembly gave its nod to the federal budget which the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has been touting as “tax-free”. 160 MPs voted in favour of the bill while 119 opposed it. The government had unveiled a coronavirus-influenced Rs 7.13 trillion “tax-free” budget for the…. Read More

Budget to sail through NA however hard Opp may try

The News (June 29, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Budget 2020-2021 will sail through the National Assembly no matter how hard the combined opposition may try, said Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz here on Sunday. He was speaking at a news conference here along with Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar. Shibli said the PPP and PML-N both were responsible for the… Read More

Defence budget – Part II

The News (June 28, 2020)

Why are ‘military pensions’ of Rs359 billion not included in the ‘defence budget’? Answer: Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) are a “common set of accounting principles, standards and procedures.” If I am not mistaken, it was Shaukat Aziz who applied GAAP and moved ‘military pensions’ out of the ‘defence budget’. Legally, military retirees are part of the civilian ‘labour force’… Read More

Most disappointing aspect of budget 2020

The Daily Times (June 28, 2020)

The federal government led by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) presented the fiscal budget for 2020-21 in the National Assembly. Since the entire world is facing an uncertain period due to the Covid-19 pandemic, nothing extraordinary was expected from the budget. However, it was expected by many that the government would allocate a greater share of the budget toward education and health care… Read More

Amid pandemic: ‘Govt committed to stimulating economy’

The Express Tribune (June 27, 2020)

ISLAMABAD:The government is taking various initiatives to stimulate the economy in these difficult and uncertain times, said Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Friday. In a meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing, the adviser discussed several matters of mutual interest. Shaikh appreciated the continued and unwavering support that China had… Read More

KMC to present Rs24.84b budget Monday
The (June 27, 2020)

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation is all set to present a Rs24.84 billion budget for fiscal year 2020-21 on Monday. It will be presented by Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar at the Council Hall of the Old KMC Building. This will be the last budget of his tenure. The session will start at 2:30pm. He has presented four budgets since he became mayor in August, 2016. The fiscal budget figure for this year… Read More

How is federal budget a success story, and not the other way round?

The (June 26, 2020)

Pakistan’s economy had already been suffering before the COVID-19 outbreak, it was in no imminent danger of a recession. The Current Account Deficit dropped by nearly 73%; the “primary balance” was positive, at 0.3% of the GDP; the credit rating had improved from negative to stable; and the country’s rank on the “Ease of Doing Business” Index had improved from 136 to 108. Many analysts… Read More

Bilawal, Shehbaz reject FY21 budget, agree on calling APC next week

The Pakistan Today (June 26, 2020)

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif rejected the budget presented by the government for the fiscal year 2020-21, and agreed to call an All Parties Conference (APC) next week in light of the evolving political situation in the country. Bilawal telephoned the former… Read More

Opposition rejects Balochistan budget, terms it anti-people

The Dawn by Saleem Shahid (June 26, 2020)

QUETTA: The opposition in the Balochistan Assembly on Thursday rejected the provincial budget for financial year 2020-21 and termed it anti-people. Members on treasury benches, however, said that despite a financial crisis in the country and other difficulties the provincial government had presented what they called a people-friendly budget. The Balochistan Assembly session was presided… Read More