October 13, 2019 (MLN): The departed week witnessed a series of ups and downs that have a direct impact on the economic operations of Pakistan.
To begin with, on Friday, Pakistan and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $200 million loan agreement for additional financing to help support the government’s flagship social protection program, the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP)
The same day, Chairman of Federal Board of Revenue, Shabbar Zaidi said that a very productive meeting was held in Dubai on October 9 and 10 on the matter of exchange of information. Via an announcement on his official social media handle, he informed that Dubai Land Department will instantly provide details of Pakistani owners of Dubai Properties.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan directed his finance advisor, Abdul Hafeez Sheikh to devise a plan of action about sales tax on steel and cement industries with the cooperation of FBR, Naya Pakistan Housing Authority and provincial governments.
On Thursday, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) developed a software that would help automatic selection of samples for various surveys, hence reducing the human interference in this process by around 90 percent.
Meanwhile, during a seminar held in local hotel to discuss the current economic challenges of the country, the Governor said that the economy of Pakistan was moving in the right direction, and that the positive impact of the harsh measures taken by the government would be visible by next year.
Furthermore, Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) in a notice addressed to all TRE Certificate Holders, informed that the PSX has set minimum rate for brokerage commission that securities brokers can charge from their customers upon execution of orders, at 3 paisa per share or 0.15% of the transaction value, whichever is higher, up to 2.5% of the transaction value.
On Wednesday, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) conducted an auction in which it sold Market Treasury Bills (MTBs) worth Rs.883.55 billion for 3, 6 and 12 months. The Auction target was Rs.1,000.00 billion against a maturing amount of Rs.2,064.51 billion. Cut off yield for 3, 6 and 12 months were 13.6898, 13.5549 and 13.4699 percent.
The same day, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) announced the prices of RLNG for the month of October, as per which the RNLG price for SNGPL during the said month has been set at $10.723/mmbtu, i.e. up by $0.6479 per mmbtu. On the other hand, the RNLG price for SSGC has been set at $10.7105/mmbtu, i.e. up by $0.66 per mmbtu.
In addition, Dr. Reza Baqir during an interactive session with leading foreign investors at the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) said that the reforms to address the macroeconomic challenges faced by the economy are now beginning to bear fruit and improvement in the external sector has become visible.
On the downside, The World Economic Forum released the Global Competitiveness Report 2019 on Wednesday, as per which, on the Competitiveness 4.0, Pakistan has been ranked at 110th among 141 economies, slipping three positions below from last year’s 107. Pakistan has been ranked 107 in Institutions as compared to 109 last year, it is ranked 105 in infrastructure against 93 in 2018, and The ICT adoption has slipped to 131 from 127 from a year earlier.
On the upside, Pakistan and Japan are looking for increasing bilateral cooperation in agricultural-based industry and value addition as Japan has already announced grant aid to enhance productivity and capacities in relevant agricultural fields.
Furthermore, The Asian Development Bank is set to provide $2.7 billion in approved financing to Pakistan in Fiscal Year 2019, as per the announcement made on twitter by ADB.
In addition, ADB will leverage its lending through the mobilization of co-financing and funding from other sources, including regional concessional resources.
On Tuesday, Azerbaijan offered Pakistan to supply Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) on the long-term basis and expressed interest in infrastructure development of the commodity especially oil and gas exploration activities.
Beside this, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) released the auction calendar for the final quarter of CY19, in which it aims to raise Rs.4.25 trillion from the auction of Market Treasury Bills (MTB) and Pakistan Investment Bonds (PIB). The maturing amount during the period Oct-Dec is Rs.4.736 trillion, which indicates a net retirement of Rs.486.77 billion by the government.
On Monday, the Minister and Deputy Head of Mission at Embassy of Japan in Pakistan Yusuke Shindo stated that Japan is negotiating with Pakistan to sign a Memorandum of Understanding for import of thousands of skilled labors. The MoU could be signed between the two countries next month.
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