November 10, 2019 (MLN): The departed week remained satisfactory from an economic and political perspective. The highlights of some of the important economic events and policy-oriented developments over the week are:
On Friday, the authorities and the IMF mission reached staff level agreement on the first review under the Extended Arrangement (EFF).
Advisor to Prime Minister, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission concluded review successfully, which he said was positive for Pakistan. IMF confirmed that Pakistan met all first quarter performance criteria by good margins and economy continuing to get better, he said in a tweet.
The same day, Energy Minister Omar Ayub Khan said that measures are being considered to give relief to industrial and other consumers. Addressing a news conference in Islamabad, he said electricity consumers were given subsidy of 226 billion rupees in budget.
Moreover, Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has directed to complete the process of privatization of National Power Parks Management Company (NPPMC) on accelerated basis. The meeting was chaired by Dr Hafeez Shaikh.
On Thursday, Chairman of the Supervisory Board Huawei Lei Jie along with a delegation called on Prime Minister Imran Khan at Prime Minister Office in Islamabad. Prime Minister invited the Chairman to invest in Pakistan taking benefit from the country's huge business opportunities under the new e-commerce policy.
Furthermore, Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Industries, Textile and Investment said that Pakistani exports to China would increase considerably after the implementation of second phase of China Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA) by December 1, 2019.
The same day, the Alternative Energy Development Board took up agenda item regarding issuance of LOS for 11 Wind Projects falling under Category II under the Cabinet Committee on Energy. NEPRA has issued Tariff for Wind projects and is scheduled to achieve their Financial Close by 18th November 2019.
On Wednesday, a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet was held with Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in the chair. During the meeting, the ECC approved a proposal put forth by the Ministry of Energy to raise finance facilities of Rs 136.454 billion and Rs 30 billion for adjustment of existing finance facilities of Power Holding Limited.
In addition, the Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts & Accessories Manufacturers has taken strong exception to the cabinet decision and giving its consent to an “ELECTRIC VEHICLE POLICY” without taking the industry on board.
On Tuesday, The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has launched an exclusive Startup portal to encourage technology innovation in Pakistan. SECP Commissioner for Information System and Technology Department, Shauzeb Ali inaugurated the portal during the ‘Startup Grind Pakistan’ conference in Islamabad.
Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar said that the Government of Pakistan with the help of Prime Minister of Turkey has amicably resolved the issue of Karkey Power Plant which helped government got a waiver of Rs 200 billion.
Besides, a meeting of the Federal Cabinet was held under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan, to discuss the economic situation of the country. During the meeting, the Cabinet expressed satisfaction on positive economic trajectory of the country.
On the upside, Forbes, a global media company focusing on business, investing and entrepreneurship lists Pakistan as the best place for social entrepreneurs to make a living. According to US News, one of three countries that made progress is Pakistan overall this year, leaping from number 32 to 14.
On Monday, Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar and Vice Chairman National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC) Ning Jizhe inaugurated the 300 MW Coal Power Plant during their visit to Gwadar. Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Planning said that benefits of CPEC are being reaped as various projects under this monumental framework are being completed or nearing completion.
Telenor Pakistan has successfully launched the first ever Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) site in Pakistan, in another disruptive measure to boost the country’s digital ecosystem.
In addition, Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) said that the investors of Rs 40,000 prize bonds have withdrawn Rs 210 billion by October 31, out of overall reserve of Rs 259 billion investments in CDNS in these prize bonds.
Lastly, Petroleum Division of the Energy Ministry is finalizing arrangements to initiate a three-round bidding process for award of around 35 new oil and gas exploration blocks in December, which would be completed during next 12 months.
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