Issue 73

Budget Study Centre   Issue 73
August 20, 2020


Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

PTI govt adds Rs11.3tr to public debt in two years

The Pakistan Today (Aug 20, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s total public debt – domestic and external – was recorded at Rs36.3 trillion in the financial year 2019-20 (FY20), up 154pc (or Rs22 trillion) since FY13, when it was recorded at Rs14.3 trillion, an official document of the finance ministry revealed.  During the first two years in power, the PTI government increased the public debt by Rs11.3 trillion or 45.2pc. The same in FY18 was recorded… Read More

SBP reserves rise $139m to $12.6bn

The Pakistan Today (Aug 20, 2020)

KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased $139.1 million or 1.12pc on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan on Thursday. On Aug 13, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $12,608.4 million, as compared to $12,469.3 million in the previous week. According to the central bank, the reserves increased mainly due to… Read More

Erratic economy

The News (Aug 19, 2020)

LAHORE: Pakistan’s economy is again behaving against the global trends. Pakistan’s growth was moving in reverse gear when the global economy was moving up; post pandemic the global economy is in tatters but Pakistan’s is showing signs of remarkable recovery. Pakistan’s macroeconomic indicators are in the best shape ever since this government assumed power. The exports are increasing… Read More

Brazilian lawmakers in showdown to double science budget

The (Aug 19, 2020)

As Brazil reels from one of the largest COVID-19 outbreaks in the world — second only to the United States — a coalition of academic and business groups is fighting to secure more funding for research and industrial innovation in the country. The legislation that they are backing, which would more than double the core Brazilian science and innovation budget for 2020, sailed through the… Read More

Remittances hit monthly record high of $2.768b in July

The Nation (Aug 18, 2020)

ISLAMABAD-Inflow of foreign remittances was recorded at historic level of $2.768 billion in July this year, showing growth of 36.5 percent due to the measures taken by federal government and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). Pakistan received foreign remittances worth $2.768 billion in July 20 as compared to $2.028 billion of remittances received in same month of previous year, showing an increase of 36.5 percent. This… Read More

Japan loses 7.8% in GDP to COVID-19 onslaught

The Nation (Aug 17, 2020)

Japan has lost at least 7.8% in its gross domestic products (GDP) to COVID-19, the latest financial figures reveal. The COVID-19 pandemic hit the country’s economy hard which contracted by 27.8% in the first quarter of the current fiscal – April-June, Yonhap news reported. GDP is the total value of goods and services produced in a country. It is the biggest contraction of Japan’s economy on… Read More

Budget and pandemic present challenges to Russia’s defense industrial base

The (Aug 17, 2020)

The two Russian defense companies in this year’s Top 100 list — air defense missile systems manufacturer Almaz-Antey and weapons developer Tactical Missiles Corporation JSC — have again fallen in rank. Almaz-Antey has fallen to 17th place from 8th and 15th in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Similarly, Tactical Missiles Corporation JSC has fallen to 35th place from 25th and 32nd in 2018 and 2019… Read More

Govt’s non-tax revenues enhanced to Rs1.45 trillion in last fiscal year

The Nation (Aug 16, 2020)

ISLAMABAD             –        The government’s non-tax revenues had enhanced to Rs1.45 trillion in last fiscal year mainly due to the massive surplus profit of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). The increase in non-tax revenues had helped the federal government in restricting budget deficit at Rs3.376 trillion in fiscal year ending June 30, 2020 or 8.1 pc of GDP.  The government had projected to… Read More

‘PM Imran saved Rs2.3 trillion of poor people during past 2 years’

The Express Tribune (Aug 16, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz on Sunday said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had saved Rs2344 billion of the poor people through his strategy and efforts during the last two years. This amount was more than Pakistan’s three years development budget, the minister wrote on his official Twitter handle… Read More

Govt asked to reduce tax rates, curtail parallel economy

The nation (Aug 16, 2020)

LAHORE          –        The business community has proposed the government to reduce tax rates and curtail parallel economy with a view to widen the tax base, as country’s tax-to-GDP ratio has dropped to a record low of almost 9% during 2019-2020 compared to 11.1% in 2017-2018, because of flawed tax policy measures. All Pakistan Business Forum President Syed Maaz Mahmood called for broadening… Read More

Centre transferred Rs2.5tr to provinces as share under NFC Award in last FY

The Nation (Aug 15, 2020)

ISLAMABAD-The federal government transferred Rs2.5 trillion to four provinces as their share under the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award in last fiscal year, falling short to the annual projections due to a steep shortfall in tax collection. jIn previous fiscal year, the share of provinces in the federal divisible pool was projected at Rs3.2tr, subject to the collection of Rs5.55tr in taxes by the Federal… Read More

FPRI BMB Russia: Russia’s federal budget deficit grew a whopping 85% in July

The (Aug 14, 2020)

Russia’s federal budget deficit grew a whopping 85% in July compared to the previous month. In the first half of the year, Russia ran an RUB823bn deficit. In July the deficit increased by RUB699.2bn, bringing the total budget shortfall from January-July to RUB1.5 trillion rubles ($20.5bn). The cause of the deficit has less to do with dramatically increased spending by the Russian government… Read More

Wars not won by mere weapons: Ready for India despite budget constraints, says ISPR

The News (Aug 14, 2020)

RAWALPINDI: The Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Thursday termed Pakistan’s brotherly relations with Saudi Arabia historic and said nobody should raise questions about them. Commenting on the status of Pakistan’s relations with Saudi Arabia and the upcoming visit to the kingdom by the Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in a media briefing, Director General ISPR Major… Read More

Punjab, K-P book budget deficit

The Express Tribune (Aug 13, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) booked budget deficits in the previous fiscal year amid questions over the federal government’s budget numbers, which showed an unprecedented Rs936-billion record profit by the central bank. Unlike, Punjab and K-P governments, the Pakistan Peoples Party-led government of Sindh and Balochistan Awami Party-led Balochistan… Read More

PTI govt restricts budget deficit to Rs3.4tr

The Express Tribune (Aug 12, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has managed to restrict overall budget deficit to below Rs3.4 trillion or 8.1% of the size of the economy in its second year in power due to steep cuts in expenditures and provincial cash surpluses. The budget deficit of 8.1% of the gross domestic product (GDP) was far better than the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) forecast of Rs3.9… Read More

4pc of GDP should go to education, disrespectful material removed from syllabus: Senate committee

The Pakistan Today (Aug 12, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Education recommended that the education budget should be increased to four percent of the GDP for the promotion of education in the country, in a meeting held here on Tuesday. Senator Engr Rukhsana Zubair chaired the meetings of the senate committee, while the Federal Minister for Education could not attend because he was busy in the… Read More

Senate body recommends increasing education budget to 4 percent of GDP

The Business Recorder (Aug 12, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education, Vocational Training, National History and Literary Heritage recommended on Tuesday that the education budget should be increased to four percent of the GDP for the promotion of education in the country. The committee met under the chairmanship of Senator Engr Rukhsana Zubair. Regarding the non-participation… Read More

Government claims curtailing budget deficit at Rs 3,376 bn

The News (Aug 12, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The government on Tuesday informed the Federal Cabinet that the budget deficit was curtailed at Rs3,376 billion, equivalent to 8.1 percent of GDP against projection of 9.1 percent of GDP for last fiscal year ended on June 30, 2020. In the wake of lingering COVID-19 pandemic, the overall fiscal woes continued to haunt the economic managers as the situation… Read More

Call for Senate’s meaningful role in budget-making process

The Dawn (Aug 11, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: A Senate panel on Monday called for empowering the upper house of parliament by giving it a meaningful role in the country’s budget-making process. The Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice, headed by Javed Abbasi, in its meeting considered the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020, (Amendment of Article 73), calling for… Read More

NA body approves “The Anti-Money Laundering (2nd Amendment) Bill, 2020”

The Nation (Aug 11, 2020)

ISLAMABAD-National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue on Monday has approved the “The Anti-Money Laundering (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020” after rejecting the proposals of the opposition. The meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue was held under the chairmanship of MNA Mr. Faiz Ullah. The Committee discussed…. Read More

Services trade deficit shrinks 43pc in FY20

The Nation (Aug 10, 2020)

ISLAMABAD -The country’s services trade deficit witnessed sharp decline of 42.96 per cent during the financial year 2019-20 as compared to the corresponding period of last year. During the period under review, the country’s services exports declined by 8.66 per cent, whereas services’ imports narrowed by 24.25 per cent, according to trade statistics released by Pakistan… Read More

Sri Lanka official reserves increase to $7.1bn in July 2020

The (Aug 10, 2020)

Sri Lanka’s gross official reserves grew by US$407.4 million to US$ 7,102.0 million in July 2020 from US$ 6,694.6 million in June 2020, latest Central Bank data showed. By the end of July, foreign currency reserves were 6,605.1 million dollars while the reserve position in the IMF was 67.6 million dollars. Reserves in Gold were 425.6 million and other reserve assets were one million US dollars… Read More

Budget deficit in first 5 months up as lockdowns hit revenue

The Daily Mirror.ik (Aug 10, 2020)

Sri Lanka’s budget deficit for the five months up to May rose as the economic shutdown triggered by the pandemic hit the tax revenues, but the government cut public investments to keep the deficit from over-stretching. Tax revenues during the first five months to May fell to Rs.508.3 billion from Rs.705.0 billion during the same period in 2019 as the economy lost momentum half way through… Read More

Asad says Pakistan’s economy witnessing V-shaped recovery

The Nation (Aug 09, 2020)

ISLAMABAD – Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar said on Saturday that Moody’s reconfirmation of Pakistan’s credit rating with a stable outlook reflected that Pakistan’s economy was witnessing a V-shaped recovery amid COVID-19 pandemic. In the middle of a global pandemic it was a testimony to the V shaped recovery, Pakistan had seen, Umar said in his tweet. He said the economic… Read More

IMF programme in limbo as key targets remain unfulfilled
The Pakistan Today (Aug 08, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) would review Pakistan’s performance under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) in the last week of September. According to sources, the IMF team is scheduled to visit Pakistan to review the government’s economic performance during the first quarter of the current fiscal year (FY21), besides reviewing pending issues with… Read More

Pakistan’s exports may rise by up to $12bn by 2024: ITC
The Pakistan Today (Aug 08, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Although the country’s exports are expected to face the impact of Covid-19 in the current fiscal year, the International Trade Centre’s latest export potential assessment for Pakistan sees the country’s exports rising by up to $12 billion by 2024. “More than half of Pakistani exporters struggle with domestic and foreign regulatory barriers,” said Invisible Barriers to Trade… Read More

Software installed to keep Punjab Police’s Rs119b annual budget under check
The Pakistan Today (Aug 07, 2020)

LAHORE: The finance wing of the Punjab Police presented comprehensive financial management software to stop corruption and embezzlement in the police accounts, on Thursday. The software is developed and installed with the assistance of the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB). Its deployment is also the first of its kind in any state run department in Pakistan… Read More