Weekly News Roundup

January 26, 2020 (MLN): The departed week observed many key developments in various sectors of the economy. These include:

On Friday, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Country Office Pakistan together with the Ministry of Interior launched USD 25 million four-year technical assistance framework which aims to strengthen the criminal justice response in Pakistan to prevent and counter terrorism.

Meanwhile, the Oil and Gas Development Company informed that its Joint Venture of Ranipur block comprising itself as the operator (95%), Government Holdings (Private) Limited (2.5%) and Sindh Energy Holding Company (Private) Limited (2.5%) has discovered gas and condensate in the exploratory well Metlo # 01, located in District Khairpur, Sindh Province.

Furthermore, Finance Division on Friday described as factually incorrect and misleading a news item published in a section of the press claiming that the foreign direct investment flows into Pakistan had dropped by 20 per cent in 2019.

Besides, Prime Minister Imran Khan while talking to Chairperson of Dogan Holdings Ms Begumhan Dogan Faralyali, on the sidelines of World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020, invited Dogan Holdings to consider investments in the energy and tourism sectors.

The same day, Financial Markets Association of Pakistan (FMAP) informed to all treasuries that Association after consultation with Technical Committee and State Bank of Pakistan has decided to discontinue the 30 Years tenor PKRV. In this regard, the Ministry of Finance and State Bank of Pakistan are not active in the auction of 30-year PIB tenors.

On Thursday, Chairman National Tariff Commission (NTC) Chairperson, Robina Ather said that the new Tariff Policy 2020-24 will increase the industrial growth and attract foreign investment for increasing employment opportunities in the country.

Additionally, the Pakistan Stock Exchange invited applications for the issuance of 15 new Trading Right Entitlement (TRE) Certificates.

On the down side, Pakistan fell 3 places in the transparency internationals 2019 corruption perception index, its ranking changed from 117th to 120th.

Another development was seen as Renowned international mobile operating company GSMA agreed to cooperate in realizing the vision of Digital Pakistan – the government's programme to accelerate the growth of the information technology sector.

On Wednesday, Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenues, Dr Abdul Hafeez said that Pakistan looked forward to further strengthening partnership with Asian Development Bank (ADB) under the leadership of its new President, Masatsugu Asakawa.

On the upside, Pakistani and Chinese experts agreed to develop a textile cooperation framework under China Pakistan Economic Cooperation by focusing on readymade garments, man-made fiber and textile skill training.

Meanwhile, Privatization Commission on Wednesday, dispelled rumors of OGDC shares being offered at discount or historical average.

On the positive front, International Software Company SAP expressed commitment to support software development in Pakistan.

Moreover, Director General of Agricultural department Anjum Butter said federal government allocated 12 billion to subsidize the wheat growers across the country to achieve the annual target of producing one crore 96 tons wheat.

On Tuesday, PSO and UBER signed first of its kind fuel management solution strategic agreement through which PSO will provide its advanced DIGICASH Fuel Cards, coupled with Fuelink Mobile App and special offerings to the Uber partner drivers.

On Monday, a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) chaired by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh allowed import of 0.3 million tonnes of wheat to decrease the local wheat price and meet the domestic requirement.

Also, ECC approved the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) waiver of Rs400 per bag to ensure the supply of cheap fertilizer to the farmers.

Positively, Fitch Ratings forecasted that Pakistan’s current account deficit will narrow further to 2.1% of GDP in FY20 (year ending June 2020), from 4.9% last fiscal year.

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Posted on: 2020-01-26T14:47:00+05:00