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  1. News Pulse (August 30, 2018) ECC meeting: Increase in gas tariff put on hold The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the newly-formed federal cabinet met here on Wednesday, but Finance Minister Asad Umar was unable to take decisions on any of the five issues tabled for discussion because the issue of circular debt and its crippling impact on the energy sector consumed most of the time allocated. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/361304-ecc-meeting-increase-in-gas-tariff-put-on-hold Nepra allows Re0.36/unit increase in electricity tariff The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) on Wednesday allowed an increase of Re0.36/unit in electricity tariff for all the power distribution companies except K-Electric on account of fuel price adjustment for July. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/361220-nepra-allows-re0-36-unit-increase-in-electricity-tariff IFC, SBP to boost green banking International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank's private sector investment arm and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Wednesday signed an advisory agreement to support green banking in Pakistan, part of IFC’s commitment to helping countries transition to green, low carbon, sustainable economies. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/361222-ifc-sbp-to-boost-green-banking Punjab exceeds cotton sowing target Punjab exceeded the cotton sowing target for 2018-19 with 2.31 million hectares against 2.29m hectares, the Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research was informed on Wednesday. https://www.dawn.com/news/1429819/punjab-exceeds-cotton-sowing-target Govt mulls to complete SEZs in 3-month Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar on Thursday gave three months deadline to the officials to ensure inauguration of special economic zones (SEZs) planned under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/361225-govt-mulls-to-complete-sezs-in-3-month Xi reiterates support to BRI’s countries including Pakistan President Xi Jinping has reiterated its support to the countries involved in Belt and Road's initiative (BRI) including Pakistan to get improved the living conditions of their people. Pakistan is the leading member of the BRI and has a special distinction because of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that is its pilot and major project. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180830403136/ World Bank ready to support new govt’s reform plans Following his first official contact with the new government in Pakistan, World Bank Vice President for South Asia region, Hartwig Schafer said the bank was ready to support the reform plans of the new PTI government. https://www.dawn.com/news/1429806/world-bank-ready-to-support-new-govts-reform-plans Nepra shows concern over Discos, K-Electric performance The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has showed its concern over performance of X-Wapda distribution companies and K-Electric which have contributed losses of around Rs35 billion due to their inefficiency in transmission and distribution losses and Rs76 billion due to less recovery of bills during 2016-17. https://nation.com.pk/30-Aug-2018/nepra-shows-concern-over-discos-k-electric-performance ECC to address root cause of Rs1.17 trillion circular debt The first meeting of the newly-reconstituted Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet did not take any conclusive decision on Wednesday but appeared to be setting the stage for some serious business — to make fertiliser companies return Rs10 billion windfalls to the economy and to address the root cause of power sector circular debt. https://www.dawn.com/news/1429876/ecc-to-address-root-cause-of-rs117-trillion-circular-debt Descon acquires 26 percent PDPS’ shares Descon has recently acquired 26 percent of shares in Plant Design and Project Services (PDPS). PDPS is a South African company providing a comprehensive range of technical, engineering, maintenance and project management services to the power generation, chemical and petrochemical industries. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180830403149/
  2. News Pulse (August 29, 2018) No decision on IMF bailout yet: Asad Finance Minister Asad Umar on Tuesday said Pakistan had not yet decided to go for a bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/360819-no-decision-on-imf-bailout-yet-asad Machinery imports fall 23pc in July Machinery imports sharply fell around 23 percent year-on-year to $787 million in July, signaling a bad sign for the country that is already facing a low level of industrialisation. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/360786-machinery-imports-fall-23pc-in-july Urea crisis: Govt plans to operationalise three closed fertiliser plants The government is going to operationalise the already closed three fertilizers plants in Punjab for two months aimed at averting the possible crisis of urea and its price hike, as farmers have started feeling the pinch that could cripple the agriculture growth, The News has reliably learnt Tuesday. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/360838-urea-crisis-govt-plans-to-operationalise-three-closed-fertiliser-plants PEL to launch TVs and washing machines Pak Elektron Ltd (PEL) has planned to enter into television and washing machine market with the former expected to be introduced by this September while the latter by mid-2019. https://www.dawn.com/news/1429625/corporate-watch Government likely to increase gas prices by up to 86% The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is likely to increase gas prices by up to 86% in an effort to bail out public utilities, which are on the verge of financial default following delay in notifying revised gas prices. https://tribune.com.pk/story/1790048/2-government-likely-increase-gas-prices-86/ Power Division to table funding requirements before PM, ECC A cash-strapped Power Division is all set to table its funding requirements before Prime Minister Imran Khan and newly-constituted Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Wednesday (today) aimed at sorting out liquidity issues and bringing down circular debt of Rs 596 billion, not including Rs 582 billion parked in the books of Power Holding Private Limited (PHPL). https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180829402772/ Govt suspends NBP President Saeed Ahmad The federal cabinet on Tuesday suspended National Bank of Pakistan President Saeed Ahmad on the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) request. https://tribune.com.pk/story/1790042/2-govt-suspends-nbp-president-saeed-ahmad/ ECC expected to approve Rs60 billion bailout for PSO The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet, which is meeting on Wednesday, is expected to approve a bailout of Rs60 billion for the state-run Pakistan State Oil (PSO). https://tribune.com.pk/story/1790020/2-ecc-expected-approve-rs60-billion-bailout-pso/ 14m cotton bales production expected Cotton crop output during the current season was expected to cross 14.23 million bales as the area under crop cultivation had witnessed over 2 percent increase during the period under review as compared the same period of last year. https://nation.com.pk/29-Aug-2018/14m-cotton-bales-production-expected
  3. News Pulse (August 28, 2018) Urea stocks hit lowest level ahead of winter sowing Urea stocks hit the lowest level of half a million tons in August, around 12 percent less than the monthly demand, fanning fear of the nutrient shortage for key winter crops in the agriculture country, people with knowledge of the matter said on Monday. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/360241-urea-stocks-hit-lowest-level-ahead-of-winter-sowing Outstanding payments of SSGC, SNGPL pile up to multibillion rupees Pakistan’s two major state-run natural gas companies have hundreds of billions of rupees in outstanding payments, making their business operation difficult and weakening their financial health, officials said on Monday. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/360244-outstanding-payments-of-ssgc-sngpl-pile-up-to-multibillion-rupees ‘Repaying $9.25 bn debt a major challenge for govt’ Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders on Monday said the country will need almost $9.25 billion in debt repayments during the current fiscal which would be a challenge. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/360320-repaying-9-25-bn-debt-a-major-challenge-for-govt FBR collects Rs133.36bln in taxes from salaried class in FY2018 The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) collected Rs133.36 billion in taxes from salaried individuals during the last fiscal year of 2017/18, up 20 percent year-over-year, official data showed on Monday. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/360242-fbr-collects-rs133-36bln-in-taxes-from-salaried-class-in-fy2018 Exports of basmati rice up 5.2pc Rice exports from the country during first month of current financial year grew by 2.85 percent as compared to corresponding month of last year and about 212,518 metric tons of rice worth $ 110.966 million was exported as against the exports of 190,455 metric tons valuing $107.893 million of same period of last year. https://nation.com.pk/28-Aug-2018/exports-of-basmati-rice-up-5-2pc PSEs debt up Rs500bn in two years Public sector enterprises (PSEs) have eaten up almost Rs500 billion within two years as their outstanding debts increased to Rs1.068 trillion at the end of June 30, 2018. https://www.dawn.com/news/1429398/pses-debt-up-rs500bn-in-two-years Bank Alfalah, CLSA in partnership Bank Alfalah Ltd (BAFL) on Monday announced that it is entering into a strategic partnership with CLSA, a Hong Kong-based investment group, in BAFL-owned Alfalah Securities Ltd on Aug 30. https://www.dawn.com/news/1429404/bank-alfalah-clsa-in-partnership Reversal of Rs 100 billion relief: Government needs to amend finance act The PTI-led government will be required to amend the Finance Act 2018 for reversal of Rs 100 billion relief provided to the salaried class by the Abbasi-led administration in the budget for the current fiscal year. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180828402418
  4. News Pulse (August 27, 2018) Future strategy & implementation plan: Dawood to get briefings this week Prime Minister''s Advisor on Commerce, Textile, Industries and Production and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood is yet to be given a detailed briefing by Federal Secretaries of relevant Divisions which will help him formulate future strategy and implementation plan. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180827402246/ Imported goods: major attempt of fraudulent clearance foiled Customs Intelligence, Karachi has foiled a major attempt of fraudulent clearance of imported goods including old/used machinery imported from Korea/UAE through mis-declaration and violations of import conditions. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180827402238/ Power project at Gwadar: China seeks to replace company China has reportedly sought replacement of M/s China Communication Construction Company Limited (CCCC) with China Communications Construction Group (CCCG) to set up a 300-MW power project at Gwadar as the former is said to be reluctant to invest in "risky" Balochistan, well informed sources in PPIB told Business Recorder. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180826401815/ Fiscal year 2018: fiscal deficit hits five-year high Country''s fiscal deficit hit a five-year high or 6.6 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as it was Rs 2,260 billion in absolute terms for the recently-concluded fiscal year of 2017-18 against the targeted 4.1 percent in the budget. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180826401812/ Forex reserves stand at $16.72 billion The liquid foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) rose by $82 million to $10.235 billion during the week ended August 17, 2018. According to the data issued by the State Bank of Pakistan on Friday, the total liquid foreign exchange reserves held by the country stood at $16.722 billion. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180825401536/ LNG deal to be made public: minister Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Chaudhary Ghulam Sarwar Khan stated on Friday that all agreements made in oil and gas sector by the previous government, including Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) deal, will be made public. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180825401503/
  5. News Pulse (August 24, 2018) January 1-August 20: FIPI outflows stand at $253.02 million Foreign investors are continuously pulling out their investments from Pakistan''s capital market. According to the current data of National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited (NCCPL), the outflows from Foreign Investors'' Portfolio Investment (FIPI) stood at $253.024 million in the current calendar year from January 01, 2018 to August 20, 2018. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180822401345/ PSO seeks Rs 65 billion from Power Division Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has sought Rs 65 billion from Power Division to release its choked credit line and ensure furnace oil supplies to the power sector, well-informed sources told Business Recorder. This demand was made by PSO at a recent meeting with the officials of Ministry of Energy (Power Division). https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180822401324/ Public Sector Development Programme: Rs 30.304 billion for development projects released The government has released Rs 30.304 billion for different development projects under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2018-19 against the total budgeted allocation of Rs 1,030 billion including Rs 100 billion Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode financing (outside budget). https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180821401013/ July current account posts over $2 billion deficit The country''s current account posted a deficit of over $2 billion in July 2018 followed by a higher goods'' import bill. Economists said the higher trade deficit is the primary reason behind this growing current account deficit. Although, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has announced some measurers to curtail the exorbitant imports, still goods import bill is fattening reaching $5 billion in July 2018. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180821401010/ Government mulling over fiscal year 2019 budget future While terming the budget 2018-19 presented by the previous government unrealistic, Finance Minister Asad Umar Monday announced that either the government will formally announce a new budget or the existing budget will be amended. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180821400997/ Economic direction by end September, says Umar The new PTI government will have its economic direction by end September, says Finance Minister Asad Umar in a talk with Dawn on Tuesday. https://www.dawn.com/news/1428518/economic-direction-by-end-september-says-umar Oil imports soar 34.3pc in July The country’s oil import bill rose by 34.3 per cent year-on-year to $1.3 billion in the first month of this fiscal year whereas machinery buying from abroad registered a 22.7 decline to $0.78bn, showed data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. https://www.dawn.com/news/1428520/oil-imports-soar-343pc-in-july Rapid economic growth a must to overcome challenges, says UN Pakistan needs an annual GDP growth of 6-10 per cent to meet demands of its rapidly growing and urbanising population, while absorbing the millions of youths joining the workforce, according to the United Nations. https://www.dawn.com/news/1428515/rapid-economic-growth-a-must-to-overcome-challenges-says-un SBP”s Inflation Monitor: Mithi tops 40 leading cities in July Mithi, a city of Sindh, has been declared the most expensive in the country. According to the State Bank of Pakistan''s (SBP) Inflation Monitor, among 40 leading cities of the country Mithi recorded highest inflation during the first month of this fiscal year (FY19). https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180822401327/ LSM posts 5.38pc growth in 2017-18, missing target Large scale manufacturing (LSM) grew 5.38 percent during the last fiscal year of 2017/18 as steel and cement production continued to scale up on development spending, official data showed on Monday. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/357843-lsm-posts-5-38pc-growth-in-2017-18-missing-target New planning minister briefed on dams, CPEC Newly appointed Minister for Planning Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar was informed on Monday that the government allocated Rs23 billion for Basha and Rs2 billion for Mohmand dams in the current fiscal year, and estimated time needed to complete Basha dam was ten years. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/357844-new-planning-minister-briefed-on-dams-cpec Textile exports inch down in July Textile exports clocked in at $1.002 billion for July, down 0.49 percent year-on-year and 16.09 percent month-on-month, official data showed on Monday. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/357845-textile-exports-inch-down-in-july CAD to be resolved in two years The issue of current account deficit (CAD) will be resolved in the next two years, Governor State Bank of Pakistan Tariq Bajwa said on Monday. https://www.dawn.com/news/1428311/cad-to-be-resolved-in-two-years Pakistan to pay $9.3b in external debt servicing The caretaker government, during its brief two-and-a-half-month tenure, estimated that Pakistan’s overall external debt servicing obligation would be $9.3 billion in the current fiscal year, which was slightly less than the gross official foreign currency reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). https://tribune.com.pk/story/1785582/2-pakistan-pay-9-3b-external-debt-servicing/ CPEC to boost economic activities, generate 2m new jobs till 2030 China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a pilot project under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), will boost economic activities and generate around two million new jobs till 2030. “CPEC is the first one, and may serve as "role model". https://nation.com.pk/21-Aug-2018/cpec-to-boost-economic-activities-generate-2m-new-jobs-till-2030
  6. News Pulse (August 20, 2018) Agenda of change comes to fore Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his inaugural address to the nation since being elected the country's new premier, on Sunday announced his agenda of change, pledging that his government would cut spending, launch sweeping reforms and take austerity measures that affect the welfare of the nation. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/357514-agenda-of-change-comes-to-fore Rupee likely to bounce back The rupee suffered minor losses against the dollar in the local currency market during the outgoing week amid a pickup in the dollar demand. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/357016-rupee-likely-to-bounce-back Circular debt hits Rs1.14 trillion, being serviced through tariff The power division on Friday reported that the circular debt at the end of June 2018 stood at Rs1.148 trillion, including Rs583 billion parked in a holding company and that all of it is being serviced through consumer tariffs. https://www.dawn.com/news/1427709/circular-debt-hits-rs114-trillion-being-serviced-through-tariff Equity spurt warrants PTI’s economic sagacity The capital market is likely to see some fresh spurt as the democratic transition has taken place consecutively for the third times, but much would now depend on how the new government handles the economic issues which shattered the investor confidence, dealers said. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/357013-equity-spurt-warrants-pti-s-economic-sagacity New govt has no option but to borrow to clear growing debt: official To hit the ground running — when it formally starts functioning this week — the new PTI-led coalition government is estimated to require an upfront settlement and restructuring of almost Rs1.9 trillion worth of liabilities and receivables of public sector entities. https://www.dawn.com/news/1428090/new-govt-has-no-option-but-to-borrow-to-clear-growing-debt-official Weekly inflation crawls up 0.41pc Inflation for the combined income group went slightly up by 0.41 per cent for the week ended on August 16 as compared to the previous week, mainly due to rise in prices of perishable and oil products. https://www.dawn.com/news/1427705/weekly-inflation-crawls-up-041pc Foreign investment plummets 45pc Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) plunged 45 per cent year-on-year during the first month of fiscal year 2018-19, the State Bank of Pakistan reported on Friday. https://www.dawn.com/news/1427703/foreign-investment-plummets-45pc Pompeo to hold talks with Imran next month US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo is likely to visit Islamabad in the first week of September for consultations with Prime Minister Imran Khan and his team on issues of mutual interests, diplomatic and official sources told Dawn. https://www.dawn.com/news/1428061/pompeo-to-hold-talks-with-imran-khan-next-month
  7. News Pulse (August 17, 2018) Imran set to become PM today Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan is set to have a smooth sailing in the prime minister’s election today (Friday) after the Pakistan People’s Party withdrew its support for Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Shehbaz Sharif. https://nation.com.pk/17-Aug-2018/imran-set-to-become-pm-today Forex reserves fall to $16.712bln Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves fell to $16.712 billion during the week ended August 10 from $17.005 billion in the previous week, the central bank reported on Thursday. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/356051-forex-reserves-fall-to-16-712bln PTI-led govt faces ‘immediate’ pressure to lure external funding: Fitch Ratings The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf- (PTI) led coalition government will be under immediate pressure to arrest the deterioration in external finances and address fiscal challenges, as well as to attract the foreign funding necessary to meet its financing gap, an international credit rating agency said on Thursday. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/356046-pti-led-govt-faces-immediate-pressure-to-lure-external-funding-fitch-ratings Ease of Doing Business Index: Pakistan goes down to 147th rank Pakistan's ranking in the Ease of Doing Business Index has consistently gone down from 105th in 2012 to 128th in 2015 and stands at 147th in 2018 among 190 countries. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180817400007/ Diamer-Bhasha dam construction: Chinese company agrees to extend financial support: Sanjrani Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani on Thursday said that a Chinese company had expressed its willingness to send a technical team to Pakistan to discuss different options including financial support in the construction of much-needed Diamer-Bhasha dam. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180817400052/ Investment stands at $4.2 billion: Telecom sector contributed Rs 684 billion to exchequer from fiscal year 2013-17 The telecom sector contributed Rs 684 billion in terms of taxes and duties from fiscal year 2013 to fiscal year 2017 while investment by telecom companies during the same period stood at $4.2 billion and Foreign Direct Investment $2.3 billion. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180817400035/ PSEs' debt, liabilities reach Rs1.3tr The previous PML-N government had failed to address the issue of mounting debt and liabilities of the Public Sector Entities (PSEs) that touched Rs1.3 trillion during last fiscal year (FY2018). https://nation.com.pk/17-Aug-2018/612230 Sindh, Summit banks merger expected in Sept Sindh Bank Limited (SBL) and Summit Bank Limited (SMBL) are on track to complete their proposed merger by the end of September after securing regulatory approval and permission from the apex court, officials said on Thursday. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/356047-sindh-summit-banks-merger-expected-in-sept Gas sale-purchase agreement delayed by SSGC: Nepra reserves judgment on RLNG supply to KE The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Thursday reserved its judgment on supply of re-gasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) to K-Electric as a sales-purchase agreement by the SSGC has yet to be signed. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/356049-gas-sale-purchase-agreement-delayed-by-ssgc-nepra-reserves-judgment-on-rlng-supply-to-ke Descon plans to invest Rs 1 billion to increase capacity’ an interview with Imran Qureshi, CEO Descon Oxychem Imran Qureshi is the newly appointed CEO of Descon Oxychem. Prior to his appointment, Qureshi served as the Managing Director of J&P Coats Pakistan for two years. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180817400110/ AkzoNobel Pakistan expands footprint AkzoNobel Pakistan has expanded its footprint in the power sector of Pakistan by supplying protective coatings to the steel structure of gas turbine at Haveli Bahadur Shah Power Plant, a statement said on Thursday. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/356064-akzonobel-pakistan-expands-footprint
  8. News Pulse (August 16, 2018) Pakistan’s debt, liabilities touch Rs29.861 trillion Pakistan’s total debt and liabilities have pushed up sharply and touched at Rs29.861 trillion or 86.8 percent of GDP till June 30, 2018 indicating that each individual living in the country owed Rs144256 on account of increasing debt burden, official data available with The News disclosed. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/355608-pakistan-s-debt-liabilities-touch-rs29-861-trillion External debt, liabilities increase 14 percent to $95 billion in FY2018 Foreign debt and liabilities soared around 14 percent to $95.097 billion in the fiscal year ended June 30, the central bank’s data showed on Wednesday, as the country is struggling to meet its external financing requirement. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/355554-external-debt-liabilities-increase-14-percent-to-95-billion-in-fy2018 Govt receives Rs6.92mln for Basha, Mohmand dams: Overseas Pakistanis give lukewarm response to dams’ fund The fund dedicated for the construction of Diamir Basha and Mohmand dams has received lukewarm response from overseas Pakistanis, as they sent only Rs6.92 million to the fund out of the total collection of Rs861 million. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/355553-govt-receives-rs6-92mln-for-basha-mohmand-dams-overseas-pakistanis-give-lukewarm-response-to-dams-fund Deadly worm rings alarm bells for key crops The discovery of deadly pest ‘fall armyworm’ for the first time in Asia and not far from Pakistan has sounded alarm bells among farming community, triggering fear of extensive loss to a wide range of crops. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/355555-deadly-worm-rings-alarm-bells-for-key-crops Wapda to enhance Hub dam’s storage capacity Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) decided to enhance the storage capacity of Hub dam by removing the sediment deposits in the reservoir, a statement said on Wednesday. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/355569-wapda-to-enhance-hub-dam-s-storage-capacity REIT scheme required to pay dividends in cash: SECP The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has revised dividend policy for the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) scheme under which the REIT scheme would be required to pay dividends in cash. The SECP has issued SRO 995 (I)/2018 here on Wednesday to amend the Real Estate Investment Trust Regulations, 2015. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180816399724/ 14 exhibitors to participate in Automechanika Frankfurt 2018 A total of 14 exhibitors from Pakistan are going to participate in Automechanika Frankfurt 2018 schedule to be held from 11-15 September, 2018. Out of them 9 are participating under Trade Development Authority of Pakistan while other 5 are exhibiting directly. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180816399779/ Saving certificates profit rates increased The Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) has notified upward revision in the profit rates for various saving certificates to benefit its investors especially the pensioners, which has been applicable from July 1, 2018. https://nation.com.pk/16-Aug-2018/saving-certificates-profit-rates-increased
  9. News Pulse (August 15, 2018) Plan under process to secure energy sector The government is in the process of finalising an integrated strategic plan for the security of oil and gas installations across the country to ensure smooth energy supplies at all times. https://www.dawn.com/news/1426838/plan-under-process-to-secure-energy-sector PSO awards first fuel oil import tender in two months Pakistan State Oil (PSO) this week awarded its first fuel oil import tender in about two months, two trade sources said. That comes after the company left outstanding import tenders from late-June expire unawarded despite receiving multiple supplier offers, the sources said. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180815399541/ July trade gap widens by $3.192 billion The country''s trade deficit has widened by $3.192 billion for the month of July 2018, up by 0.31 percent over the same month a year before, according to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180814399233/ New govt fears IMF bailout to hamper reforms Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the government in-waiting, is seriously contemplating various alternative plans to avoid International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme which according to PTI would hit its economic plan especially generating employment opportunities. https://nation.com.pk/15-Aug-2018/new-govt-fears-imf-bailout-to-hamper-reforms Neelum Jhelum attains full capacity of 969MW The strategically important Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project achieved a historic landmark as the project today attained its maximum generation capacity of 969 MW. All units of the project are generating power to their maximum. https://nation.com.pk/15-Aug-2018/neelum-jhelum-attains-full-capacity-of-969mw KSA interested in heavy investment in Pakistan, crown prince tells Imran Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has told prime minister-in-waiting Imran Khan that the kingdom was very much interested in investing heavily in a bid to strengthen its trade ties with Pakistan. https://tribune.com.pk/story/1780812/1-ksa-interested-heavy-investment-pakistan-crown-prince-tells-imran/ SSGC loses case in int’l arbitration court State-owned Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) has lost a case in the International Court of Arbitration against Habibullah Coastal Power Company (HCPC) for failure to provide gas for the power plant in line with an agreement, which will inflict damages of millions of dollars on the government, say officials. https://tribune.com.pk/story/1780142/2-ssgc-loses-case-intl-arbitration-court/ Ban on import of luxury items urged South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) Pakistan Chapter urged the upcoming government to slap a complete ban on the import of luxury items to protect foreign exchange reserves. https://tribune.com.pk/story/1780177/2-ban-import-luxury-items-urged/
  10. News Pulse (August 13, 2018) Fiscal year 2019: ACAC sets Rs 1.25 trillion target for agriculture credit Agricultural Credit Advisory Committee (ACAC) of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has set an agricultural credit disbursement target of Rs 1.25 trillion for this fiscal year (FY-19) with a commitment to serve small farmers and underserved areas through innovative agri financing schemes. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180812398873/ Non-integration with online system: 9 percent GST to be charged on textile supplies The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will charge 9 percent sales tax (instead of 6 percent) on supplies of textile units, which will refuse to integrate with the FBR''s online system by the deadline of August 15, 2018. The FBR has issued instructions to All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) and Pakistan Retail Business Council Friday. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180811398549/ Expats remit $1.93 billion in July Pakistan received workers'' remittances amounting to $1.9 billion during the first month of this fiscal year (FY19). According to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), workers'' remittances posted a healthy growth of some 25 percent during the first month of FY19. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180811398559/ New regulatory framework for REITs introduced The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has introduced a new regulatory framework for Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) for disclosure of value of target property and basis of management fee to be charged to an REIT scheme. Through SRO 995 (I)/2018, the SECP has proposed amendments to Real Estate Investment Trust Regulations, 2015. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180812398861/ Plan to boost capital markets discussed Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar visited Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Saturday and discussed the ‘development of country’s capital market roadmap’ which was prepared by the Capital Market Development and Reforms (CMDR) Committee under her instructions. https://www.dawn.com/news/1426502/plan-to-boost-capital-markets-discussed Sales tax exemption for machinery awaiting customs clearance The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has exempted sales tax on import of textile machinery — piled up at the Karachi ports — to pave way for its clearance. https://www.dawn.com/news/1426496/sales-tax-exemption-for-machinery-awaiting-customs-clearance Auto sales rise by 9pc The sales of cars, vans and jeeps in Pakistan’s auto rose by 9 percent year-on-year signifying a good start for FY19. https://nation.com.pk/12-Aug-2018/auto-sales-rise-by-9pc Textile sector gets Rs25.5b under PM trade package The Ministry of Commerce and Textile has revealed that Rs 25.5 billion has been given to the textile sector in first phase under the prime minister’s trade enhancement package by June 30, 2018. https://nation.com.pk/12-Aug-2018/textile-sector-gets-rs25-5b-under-pm-trade-package SECP wants increase in insurance benefits for car owners The proposed amendment to the Motor Vehicles Act 1939 (MVA) has enhanced the compensation amount in case of deaths due to road accidents to Rs500,000 from Rs20,000. The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) is upgrading it to be implemented in third party liability insurance schemes. https://www.dawn.com/news/1426331/secp-wants-increase-in-insurance-benefits-for-car-owners Summit Bank: Sindh Bank board approves revised swap ratio The Board of Directors (BoD) of Sindh Bank Limited Friday approved the revised swap ratio for proposed merger of Summit Bank into Sindh Bank. According to bank's announcement, the Board of Directors of Sindh Bank in their meeting held on August 10, 2018 approved the swap ratio of 1:8.37, i.e., one share of Sindh Bank will be equal to 8.37 shares of Summit Bank. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180811398564/
  11. News Pulse (August 10, 2018) Pakistan poised for $4bln loan from Islamic Development Bank Pakistan plans to borrow more than $4 billion from the Saudi-backed Islamic Development Bank (IDB) as part of its attempts to restore dangerously low stocks of foreign currency. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/352905-pakistan-poised-for-4bln-loan-from-islamic-development-bank Govt speeds up special overseas bond issuance to raise $1 billion Cash-strapped government hurries to issue a planned dollar/rupee bond through the Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) to reduce debt payment deficits, as IMF bailout is likely to remain out of reach for the time being, government officials said on Thursday. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/352910-govt-speeds-up-special-overseas-bond-issuance-to-raise-1-billion Key data for IMF bailout: Spadework Accomplished The Finance Ministry under the directives of the caretakers completed the spadework a few weeks before for the incoming government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, specifically the preparation of data on key macroeconomic indicators (fiscal deficit, current account deficit and trade deficit). https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180810398229/ Nepra to hold public hearing on K-Electric plea next week The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) will conduct public hearing on K-Electric petition for using Re-Gasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) as an alternate fuel for its existing power plants next week, which is likely increase the price for the electricity for the Karachites. https://nation.com.pk/09-Aug-2018/nepra-to-hold-public-hearing-on-k-electric-plea-next-week Forex reserves fall to $17.005 billion The country’s overall forex reserves went slightly down to $17.005 billion, compared with $17.079 billion in the preceding week, the central bank said on Thursday. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/352911-forex-reserves-fall-to-17-005-billion Plans in process to curb imports Ahead of the new elected government, the Commerce Division and Customs Department are working on various proposals to curtail the rising import bill of the country, an official told Dawn. https://www.dawn.com/news/1426118/plans-in-process-to-curb-imports Banks refuse to lend Rs50 billion to govt Commercial banks have refused to lend Rs50 billion to slice down circular debt saying the government is only interested in debt servicing but not inclined to pay the principal amounts, a senior official at Power Division told The News. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/352964-banks-refuse-to-lend-rs50-billion-to-govt Expert says 25 sites identified for dams construction The speakers at a function stressed the need for launching an awareness-raising campaign at the educational institutions to convince the young generation of the urgency to conserve water to overcome the looming crisis. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/352965-expert-says-25-sites-identified-for-dams-construction
  12. News Pulse (August 09, 2018) Pakistan ushers into new industrialization phase under CPEC: China Daily Pakistan under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has entered the industrialization phase and with renewed conviction, the country can rely on the successful experience of China in the establishment of special economic zones. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180809397993/ Govt finally moves to phase out harmful fuel additive The government has decided to implement the manganese phase out plan for imported petrol as planned but has linked any relaxation to the timelines for local refineries to an independent study. https://www.dawn.com/news/1425901/govt-finally-moves-to-phase-out-harmful-fuel-additive SECP approves capital market amendments The Securities and Exchange Commission Pakistan (SECP) has passed regulations concerning capital market, insurance and corporate governance and approved the proposed amendments to Motor Vehicles Act, 1939. https://www.dawn.com/news/1425896/secp-approves-capital-market-amendments Clearing operations for Summit Bank to continue smoothly: SBP The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Wednesday that NIFT has not discontinued Summit Bank membership and clearing operations for the bank continue smoothly. According to a statement, the State Bank has noticed misleading rumors spreading in social media regarding clearing operations of Summit Bank Ltd. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180809397930/ China to slap additional tariffs on $16 billion of US goods China is slapping additional tariffs of 25 percent on $16 billion worth of US imports from fuel and steel products to autos and medical equipment, the Chinese commerce ministry said, as the world''s largest economies escalated their trade dispute. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180809397918/ China interested in joining TAPI pipeline project: ISGC CEO China is exploring building a spur from Pakistan''s territory once the multi-country TAPI natural gas pipeline project begins operating, a Pakistani official said, with the financial close of the project''s first phase expected next month. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180809397910/ Senate body to probe Rs33b fall in revenue receipts A special committee of the Senate will meet on Thursday to probe a Rs33-billion loss to the national exchequer following revision in tax structure for the tobacco industry. https://tribune.com.pk/story/1776385/2-senate-body-probe-rs33b-fall-revenue-receipts/
  13. News Pulse (August 08, 2018) Looming economic crisis: Sukuk, dollar-denominated bonds to be launched, says Asad The finance minister-in-waiting in the coming PTI-led government, Asad Umar, on Tuesday said they will consider launching dollar-denominated bond and Sukuk bond to tap a favorable response from expatriates in order to tackle the looming crisis on the external front of the economy. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/352124-looming-economic-crisis-sukuk-dollar-denominated-bonds-to-be-launched-says-asad Pakistan to decide whether to seek IMF bailout ‘by September’ Pakistan must decide by the end of September if it will go to the IMF to bail out its economy, which is facing a balance-of-payments crisis, the likely new finance minister Asad Umar said Tuesday. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/351955-pakistan-to-decide-whether-to-seek-imf-bailout-by-september Wapda chairman tells SC: Construction of Mohmand, Diamer-Bhasha dams to start in 2019 The Supreme Court (SC) was informed on Tuesday that construction work on Mohmand Dam project is expected to commence in early 2019, whereas an all-out effort was under way to start work on Diamer-Bhasha Dam project during 2019 as early as possible. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/352130-wapda-chairman-tells-sc-construction-of-mohmand-diamer-bhasha-dams-to-start-in-2019 Ogra awards licence for refinery in KP The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) has awarded a licence to Khyber Refinery (Pvt) Ltd to set up a new refinery in Khushalgarh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for five years. https://www.dawn.com/news/1425684/ogra-awards-licence-for-refinery-in-kp SNGPL encashes Rs14 bn bank guarantees of three RLNG power plants In a major development, Sui Northern Gas Company Limited (SNGPL) has swung into action and showed the muscle by en-cashing the Rs14 billion bank guarantee of three RLNG power plants for non-payments against use of imported gas. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/352131-sngpl-encashes-rs14-bn-bank-guarantees-of-three-rlng-power-plants Crude oil and gas discovered in Kohat The joint venture of Mela D&PL block comprising Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) as Operator, Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) and Government Holdings (Private) Limited (GHPL) has discovered crude oil and gas from the development well Mela 05, which is located in District Kohat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180808397691/ ‘PSX taking steps to improve investor confidence’ The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) in collaboration with the regulator is taking measures to improve investor confidence through better regulations and new rules of material information, enabling corporate transparency, bourse's Chief Executive Richard Morin said on Tuesday. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/351970-psx-taking-steps-to-improve-investor-confidence Summit Bank rejects rumours Summit Bank Limited has described rumours circulating in social media about the Bank as false, baseless and misleading. According to bank''s statement issued on Tuesday, this refers to the false, misleading and baseless rumours being circulated in social media by some unscrupulous individuals about normal clearing activity or business operations of Summit Bank Limited (the Bank)in view of the NCCPL''s letter no. NCCPL/CRO/131/18 August 02, 2018. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180808397648/ SBP moves to regulate banks’ overseas operations After two of the country’s largest private banks had their skirmishes with regulatory authorities in the United States, the State Bank of Pakistan moved to develop a more detailed “governance framework” for the overseas operations of all banks. https://www.dawn.com/news/1425686/sbp-moves-to-regulate-banks-overseas-operations Supreme Court orders lowering tax rates on locally-assembled vehicles Car prices are likely to decrease after the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered relevant government departments to reduce the tax component on vehicles. https://tribune.com.pk/story/1775642/2-supreme-court-orders-lowering-tax-rates-locally-assembled-vehicles/ Receivables from power consumers swell to Rs896b Receivables from electricity consumers have continued to pile up and the figure has swelled to Rs896 billion – a long-standing problem that will be a big challenge for the incoming government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). https://tribune.com.pk/story/1775633/2-receivables-power-consumers-swell-rs896b/
  14. News Pulse (August 07, 2018) EU wants strong economic ties with new govt European Union Ambassador to Pakistan Jeans Cautain on Monday said the EU is keen to work with incoming government of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and ready to start joint ventures with local businesses in the fields of security, economy, education and rural development. During a meeting with Imran Khan at his Bani Gala residence, the EU envoy said that the EU had no objection to Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project despite looming US sanctions and is committed to development and stability in the region. https://www.dawn.com/news/1425423/eu-wants-strong-economic-ties-with-new-govt Senate body questions Rs22 billion special fund for CPEC projects A Special Senate Panel on Monday questioned the creation of a Rs22 billion power sector revolving fund as a special arrangement to make preferred payments to power producers and investors under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Senator Shibli Faraz of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, who heads a special senate committee on circular debt, said he was not against CPEC but wondered whether it was discriminatory to open up another head to the circular debt by ensuring 22 per cent payments to these projects for which the government would need commercial borrowing. https://www.dawn.com/news/1425426/senate-body-questions-rs22-billion-special-fund-for-cpec-projects FBR plans action against UK assets holders The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has stated issuing notices to Pakistanis for not disclosing their properties and assets in United Kingdom (UK) under the Tax Amnesty Scheme. "We have received information of those Pakistanis who illegally own property in the United Kingdom," said FBR chairperson Rukhsana Yasmin on Monday. "The data was received from UK Tax Authorities". She further said that FBR would take action those Pakistanis who did not disclose their properties under the recent tax amnesty scheme, which given an opportunity to whiten the black money by paying nominal tax. The UK tax authority, HMRC, has shared with FBR full details of Pakistanis owning properties and earning rental incomes, she added. https://nation.com.pk/07-Aug-2018/fbr-plans-action-against-uk-assets-holders Circular debt surges to Rs 656 billion: Six IPPs serve notices on CPPA-G As the circular debt has touched Rs 656 billion, six Independent Power Producers (IPPs) have served notices of non-payment to Central Power Purchasing Agency Guaranteed (CPPA-G), well-informed sources in PPIB told Business Recorder. "We have received copies of notices of non-payment sent to Central Power Purchasing Agency Guaranteed (CPPA-G) under respective Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) namely M/s Atlas Power Limited, Hubco- Narowal Project, Liberty Power Tech Ltd, Nishat Chunian Power Ltd, Orient Power Company, and Saif Power Limited," the sources added https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180807397329/ IP pipeline talks to begin soon Petroleum and Natural Resources Division is likely to resume discussions with Iran on Iran Pakistan (IP) Gas Pipeline soon after the new government assumes power. On Saturday, Iranian Ambassador, Hunardost called on Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) chairman and Prime Minister in waiting Imran Khan and discussed with him bilateral issues including IP gas pipeline. Iranian Ambassador stated that the gas pipeline project can change the future of Pakistan and Iran was ready for meaningful dialogue with Pakistan on IP gas pipeline. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180806396834/
  15. News Pulse (August 06, 2018) SBP moves to boost housing finance After announcing ‘Policy for Promotion of Low-Cost Housing Finance’ on July 18, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has taken the government and Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company (PMRC) on board for provision of cheap financing to help solve the problem of housing shortage. https://www.dawn.com/news/1425039/sbp-moves-to-boost-housing-finance Pakistan needs infusion of $12 billion in loans immediately: Asad Umar Faced with an acute financial crisis left behind by the previous government, Pakistan’s incoming finance minister estimates the economy may need more than $12 billion infusion of loans within six weeks. https://www.dawn.com/news/1424807/pakistan-needs-infusion-of-12-billion-in-loans-immediately-asad-umar Corporate sector’s external debt rises to $7.4bn Pakistan corporate sector’s total external debt climbed to $7.4 billion as 2017, up 41.5 per cent, from $5.2bn in December 2016, said the State Bank’s Financial Stability Review — 2017 on Friday. https://www.dawn.com/news/1424806/corporate-sectors-external-debt-rises-to-74bn PTI govt to reduce taxes on energy supply to factories, agriculture: Asad PTI leader Asad Umar says the new government plans to decrease taxes on energy supply to factories and agriculture to make businesses more competitive with regional countries. https://nation.com.pk/04-Aug-2018/pti-govt-to-reduce-taxes-on-energy-supply-to-factories-agriculture-asad American firm close to discover oil reserves in Pakistan The American multinational oil and gas company Exxon Mobil is close to discover huge oil reserves near the Pak-Iran border, which could be even bigger than the Kuwaiti reserves. https://dailytimes.com.pk/278057/american-firm-close-to-discover-oil-reserves-in-pakistan/ IP pipeline talks to begin soon Petroleum and Natural Resources Division is likely to resume discussions with Iran on Iran Pakistan (IP) Gas Pipeline soon after the new government assumes power. On Saturday, Iranian Ambassador, Hunardost called on Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) chairman and Prime Minister in waiting Imran Khan and discussed with him bilateral issues including IP gas pipeline. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180806396834/ World Bank to fund Punjab’s ‘green growth’ project The World Bank has given approval to the ‘Punjab Green Development Programme’ to strengthen environmental governance and promote investment. https://www.dawn.com/news/1425238/world-bank-to-fund-punjabs-green-growth-project Cement sector reports 5pc growth The cement sector continued its growth pattern at the start of this fiscal after conclusion of its most successful year that ended on June 30, 2018. Despite disruption caused by hectic election activities it posted 5.10 percent growth in July. https://nation.com.pk/04-Aug-2018/cement-sector-reports-5pc-growth Bestway Cement expands production capacity at Farooqia Bestway Cement Limited (BCL) – Pakistan’s largest cement manufacturer with an annual production capacity of 10.8 million tonnes – inaugurated its sixth production line with 6000 tonnes per day capacity at Farooqia Plant. https://dailytimes.com.pk/278168/bestway-cement-expands-production-capacity-at-farooqia/ Drug prices frozen Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Friday stopped the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) from increasing the prices of medicines in the country. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/350322-drug-prices-frozen Cotton crop seen collapsing 21 percent to 11mln bales in 2019 on water shortages Farmers and ginners are expecting cotton production of around 11 million bales this crop year against the official target of over 14 million due to poor quality seeds, late sowing, water shortage and low acreage in high-yielding region. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/350666-cotton-crop-seen-collapsing-21-percent-to-11mln-bales-in-2019-on-water-shortages
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