Important Business News 14th May, 2018

Important Business News

14th May, 2018

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1. Written off loans
SC issues notices to 222 beneficiaries

The Supreme Court on Sunday issued notices to 222 beneficiaries, who illegally got their loans written off and against whom the commission had recommended further action.
A two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and Justice Mushir Alam heard suo motu on billions of rupees loans written off in three decades.
The chief justice asked the authorities to give advertisement in this regard so that all those against who the commission recommended action appear before the court on next date of hearing. He said the persons who were involved in written off loans would also be taken to task.
1 Business Recorder
2. Remittances remain on steady course

There is no drastic change in the picture for home remittances; the story remains the same where the country continues to see shrinking remittance receipts from overseas Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia due to the economic problems, labour market trends, localisation of jobs and introduction of VAT.
Remittance for April 2018 stood at $1650.6 million, which was 7.25 percent higher on a year-on-year basis, but around 7 percent lower on a month-on-month basis. Cumulatively, remittances for 10MFY18 stood at $16.257 billion, up by 3.92 percent year-on-year.
During the ten-month period, inflows from Saudi Arabia slipped by 9 percent, while the key growth contributors were US, UK and Dubai that accounts for most of the inflows from UAE. Apart from Dubai, a look at important corridors like the UAE and the GCC show that the inflows have either been declining or have remained subdued. For more information on the likely reasons, refer to “Where are remittances headed?” published on April 12, 2018.



Business Recorder

Punjab government’s supplementary budget today

The Punjab government will present its supplementary Budget today for the fiscal year 2017-18 worth over 155 billion. In this regard, the Punjab governor has summoned the session of the Punjab Assembly on Monday, 14 May 3pm to present the Supplementary Budget for the financial year. Notification to this effect has been issued by the Assembly Secretariat. Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan will preside this 36th session of the assembly.
The finance department officials said the Punjab government had prepared the full year budget, but it might prefer to announce only four months budget to let the interim set-up run its day-to-day business and leave it to the next elected government to table a formal budget for the rest of the year.

3 Business Recorder

PM wants exporters to push country’s export to $100bn

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Sunday stressed upon the exporters to increase Pakistan’s exports to at least $ 100 billion as the country had immense potential to compete in the global markets.

He said the government had already met the demands of investors and exporters, and now it was up to them to enhance the exports volume.

Addressing the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (LCCI) achievement award ceremony, the prime minister said three-month exports incentives announced by the government, were now paying dividends and hinted that the incentives period could be enhanced to three years.

4 Business Recorder
5. Urea prices likely to shoot up

The domestic fertilizer industry is likely to further increase urea prices by Rs 200 per bag in case government fails to release remaining subsidy, well informed sources in Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MoNFS&R) told Business Recorder.
Minister for National Food Security and Research, Sikandar Hayat Bosan held a meeting with the fertilizer industry and sought reasons for the increase in urea prices. The industry has already increased price of urea by Rs 100 per bag.
The Minister mentioned government ‘favours’ in support of the industry, including GST restructuring on inputs in the next budget. He expressed his annoyance at the decision to unilaterally raise prices of urea that has embarrassed the outgoing government.

5 Business Recorder
6. Pakistan faces perception issue in int’l media: Janjua

National Security Adviser Lt-General Nasser Khan Janjua (retd) said on Sunday that Pakistan faces a perception problem in international media which needs to be corrected.
He said this while speaking at an international conference on news agencies here in Islamabad.
The adviser said that Pakistan has always contributed to global stability but it faces a perception problem in the international media. He also tried to clarify that Pakistan has never played any double game in Afghanistan as portrayed in the media.
He said that different perceptions exist about Pakistan in the world; sometimes it is considered a poor Muslim country that is insecure due to threats of extremism and terrorism.

7 Business Recorder
7. KP economy witnesses steady growth: Economic Review

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s economy during the last four years has witnessed a steady growth. The GDP in FY 2013-14 witnessed a growth of 5.18 percent, which continued its steady performance in 2014-15 with a growth rate of 5.23 percent, said the second edition of the Economic Review of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 2016-17 published recently.
In 2015-16, the economy of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa grew with 4.36 percent and in the current fiscal year 2016-17, it jumped to 4.65 percent. Continuously achieving higher GDP growth from 2013-14 to 2016-17 in an indicator that government policies are working in better direction and providing incentives and necessary support in the picking up of economic activities in the province.

15 Business Recorder
8. Water sector crisis

Dire warnings by domestic and international water experts for well over two decades of a severe water crisis facing Pakistan (projected to dry up by 2025) have largely been ignored by successive centre and provincial governments, including the incumbent – a crisis that has been defined as greater than terrorism.

Neither Musharraf nor the Zardari-led PPP coalition government or the incumbent PML-N administration allocated high priority to water sector projects. In 2004, 21 years before Pakistan is forecast to dry up, Musharraf directed Amir Muqam, the then Minister of State for Water and Power, to ensure proper use of water resources, avoid a water crisis in the future and build new water reservoirs so that water and energy needs of the country may be met. Amir Muqam ignored these directives/suggestions and instead thanked Musharraf for using the taxpayers’ money to construct Nowshera-Chakdara-Chitral (NCC) road and the Lawari tunnel. Musharraf never bothered to follow up on his own directives/suggestions with his selected cabinet leading one to conclude that the content of the speech, no doubt penned by his speech writer(s), left him unmoved.

16 Business Recorder
9. Sindh budget: a routine affair
Sindh Budget for FY19 presented by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, who also happens to be the Finance Minister of the province, was a routine affair and is barefoot of any major initiative except that its authorisation was sought for only three months until September, 2018 due to coming elections and the likelihood of inception of a new government which could change the major features of the budget. The overall expenditure or the total outlay of the budget was estimated at Rs 1.144 trillion as against the receipts of Rs 1.124 trillion which means a budget deficit of Rs 20 billion. The budget estimates of the receipts for FY19 at Rs 1.124 trillion were higher by 9 percent than the current year’s. Receipts from the
16 Business Recorder
10. ‘Extraordinary’ US-China clash at WTO

Clashes between China and the US at 164-member World Trade Organization (WTO) which the former joined in 2001 are not new but what happened at world’s trade body on last Tuesday ahead of fresh talks between the top two economies on averting a trade war can be plausibly described as “extraordinary” as both economic giants levelled accusations against each other. The WTO spokesman, for example, after a meeting of the body’s general council, has been quoted as saying: “What I would say about this meeting today is that it was extraordinary in intensity. We had perhaps the two most powerful members of the WTO weighing in with their views on each other’s policies in a way that I have not seen… in my many years of working here.” The situation was so grim that it drew the attention of both US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping with latter calling for a solution to their trade spate that is characterized by mutual threats.

16 Business Recorder


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