Weekly News Roundup

November 3, 2019 (MLN): The outgoing week was host to a number of policy-oriented developments among which the important events that have a direct impact on the economic operations of Pakistan include:

On Friday,  Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Khusro Bakhtiar while addressing a press conference about the agenda of upcoming 9th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting scheduled between Pakistan and China this week, said that the government had uplifted the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to new highest as there had been a multifold increase in its volume to promote development and progress of the country.

Meanwhile, Minister for Power Division Omar Ayub Khan said that the government had fixed a target to generate 70-80 per cent electricity from local resources by 2030 in order to save precious foreign reserves besides reducing the burden of current account deficit.

Furthermore, the same day, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said that the federal and the provincial governments were engaged in a continuous dialogue process to improve coordination and create harmony on issues related to fiscal and budget management, a multiplicity of tax rates and reconciliation of input adjustment.

On the upside, World Bank Group President David Malpass on Thursday while addressing to a “Doing Business Reforms Exhibition”, said the reforms carried out by Pakistan for ease of doing business would help create jobs, attract investment and generate more tax revenue.

On Thursday,  the government decreased the prices of Kerosene and light diesel oil by Rs2.39 per litre and Rs6.56 per litre to Rs97.18 per litre and Rs 85.33 per litre respectively. In addition, the government slightly readjusted the prices of oilier petroleum products for the month of November 2019 as per recommendations of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA).

Meanwhile,  as a major move towards addressing the challenge of access to finance to the farming community, State Bank of Pakistan amended its Prudential Regulations of Agriculture Financing, SME Financing, and Corporate & Commercial Banking by allowing banks to accept Electronic Warehouse Receipts as collateral for lending against the storage of agriculture produce and commodities.

On Wednesday, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet at its meeting, had given a go-ahead for release of 650,000 tonnes of wheat from PASSCO stocks to the provincial governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Sindh and Balochistan to ease out the demand and supply equilibrium in the local market.

Furthermore, on Wednesday,  the Government and traders reached an agreement and deferred condition of CNIC on sales and purchase till 31st January of the next year. Moreover, Prime Minister's Advisor on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said that a special desk will be established at Federal Bureau of Revenue in Islamabad to resolve problems being faced by traders' community.

The same day, talking to a delegation of textile exporters in Islamabad, Prime Minister's Advisor on Finance Dr Hafeez Sheikh directed immediate payment of payable refunds of two billion rupees to textile exporters.

On Tuesday, a meeting of the federal cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan was held in which the Cabinet approved the construction of Dasu Dam to be started in November 2019.

Furthermore, while talking to the IMF Mission team led by Mr Ramirez Rigo Ernesto who called on the Adviser and his team at the Finance Division Tuesday, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance & Revenue said the government is focused on the implementation of the IMF programme.“The containment of current and fiscal deficits and stabilisation of exchange rate are indicative of the success of government efforts to put the economy on the long-term growth track,” he said.

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Posted on: 2019-11-03T13:52:00+05:00