January 12, 2020 (MLN): The departed week witnessed several important developments in economic and public policies which would help in strengthening the country’s economic sovereignty. Below are highlights of some of the key events that took place.
The World Bank on Thursday released ‘Global Economic Prospects-2020’ as per which the growth in Pakistan is projected to languish at 3 percent or less through 2020 as macroeconomic stabilization efforts weigh on activity.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) on Wednesday sought a detailed plan from the Ministry of Energy to overcome the shortage of energy and improve gas supplies throughout the year.
Moreover, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) released the auction calendar for the next three months, Jan – Mar 2020, in which it aims to raise Rs.2.95 trillion from the auction of Market Treasury Bills (MTB) and Pakistan Investment Bonds (PIB).
Another important development witnessed regarding PSO’s exchange losses, as ECC directed the Ministry of Finance to explore the possibilities for improving the liquidity position of Pakistan State Oil as exchange losses of around Rs 28 billion have incurred on FE-25 loans by PSO.
Furthermore, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Wednesday clarified that according to Government’s Digital Pakistan Initiative, Sales Tax and Income Tax at import stage has been drastically reduced in case of smart-phones of Rs15,000 or below.
On the upside, after successful completion of the export quota of 250,000 MT of rice to China, Pakistan approached Chinese government for an additional 500,000 MT, which was accepted by the gov’t of China.
On the downside, Pakistan once again made headlines for being on the list of countries with the worst passports, as reported by the Henley Passport Index. The list, which was earlier published on Henley’s official website, showed Pakistan’s ranking at 104 i.e. three ranks above Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.
On Tuesday, the Securities and Exchange Policy Board approved changes in the Companies (Further Issue of Shares) Regulations, 2018 to facilitate capital formation and provisions whereby the Commission could impose conditions on further issue of shares were substantially removed.
On the positive front another feat for the country was witnessed as Pakistan has again been declared as the best travel destination of current year.
On Monday, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet recommended for submission to the Federal Cabinet, a set of amendments, proposed by the Ministry of Energy to the Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electronic Power Act 1997.
Lastly, the State Bank of Pakistan released its First Quarterly Report on the State of Pakistan’s Economy for FY20 as per which, Pakistan’s economy moved progressively along the adjustment path during the first quarter of FY20.
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