Important Business News
19th April, 2018
|1.||Pakistan reducing dependence in US arms: FT report
Pakistan is gradually reducing its dependence on American military technology and China is filling the gap, says a Financial Times report, which also warns that this shift will have geo-political repercussions as well.
The long, almost 2,000-word report notes that the shift started in the last few months of the Obama administration, when Congress blocked the sale of eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan.
|2.||Twin deficits worry govt as budget approaches
The government fears the high twin deficits fiscal and current account could pose challenges on the external front as the country moves into the next fiscal year.
According to latest official estimates, the fiscal deficit for the current year is estimated at 5.5pc of GDP far higher than the budgeted target of 4.1pc while the target for next year is being set at 5.3pc of GDP.
|3.||Dollar soars to Rs 117 in open market
While the interbank exchange rate remained stable, the open market witnessed a sharp increase in the US dollar rate to close at Rs117 on Wednesday.
The dollar hit the highest rate for the second time after it closed at Rs117 on March 20, the day when the local currency was depreciated by 4.5 per cent in the interbank market.
|4.||Tax bar hails amnesty scheme
The tax consultants and practitioners have hailed the recently announced tax amnesty scheme and believe it will receive an “overwhelming response from home and abroad”.
“We believe people are waiting for the announcement of the budget 2018-19 on April 27, because a large number of queries are already pouring in from within and outside the country,” stated Karachi Tax Bar Association (KTBA) President Khalid Mahmood on Wednesday.
|5.||Cotton production records 7.9pc growth
The country recorded 7.94 per cent growth in cotton production up to April 15, producing 851,999 more bales at 11.579 million bales, over the corresponding period last year.
This is the third consecutive season when cotton production remained much below the government’s initial target of 14.1m bales which was later revised downwards to 12.6m bales.
|6.||CPEC to fuel industrial growth
The government expects growth in industrial sector in the next fiscal year due to better supply of energy and planned investment under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
In view of steady growth rate during the current fiscal year, the industrial sector is expected to grow by 7.6 percent during 2018-19 on the back of better energy supply and planned investment under CPEC.
|7.||FY 19 : Rs266.425bn allocations proposed for two corporations
The government has been proposed to allocate Rs266.425 billion for corporations – National Highways Authority (NHA) and National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC)/Pakistan Electric Power Company Limited (Pepco) – in the budget for the next fiscal year (2018-19).
|8.||FDI change but no change
Each passing month has been strengthening the ongoing trend of Sino-isation of Pakistan’s FDI. The latest tick – for March 2018 – also reconfirms that trend.
|9.||Afzal identifies areas for investment in Pakistan
State Minister for Finance Rana Afzal has said that Pakistan offers promising investment opportunities while the government has introduced lucrative incentive to attract foreign investment.
|10.||PSO allowed to import 0.420m tons of furnace oil
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has allowed Pakistan State Oil (PSO) to import 0.420 million tons of furnace oil through gallop tendering process on emergency basis for power generation, official sources told Business Recorder.
|11.||Business community terms levy of RLNG ‘illegal & unjust’
Business community has termed the levy of Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) by Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) on industrial and commercial units in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as illegal and unjustified step and announced to move the court against the decision.
|12.||‘PAD striving hard to achieve cotton sowing target
Secretary Agriculture Punjab Muhammad Mahmood has said that cotton growing has started throughout the province and the department is striving hard to achieve target of cotton sowing on area of 6 million acres.
|13.||Furniture sector needs govt support to capture world market: Sarwar
Former Governor Punjab, Senator Ch Muhammad Sarwar has said that Pakistan furniture industry has a big potential to dominate global markets with innovative designs. It can substantially contribute to the country’s export annually if the government properly patronizes to give a boost to the locally handmade furniture.
|14.||New Islamabad airport’s opening putt off till May 3
Delays continue to hit New Islamabad International Airport, as its formal inauguration date has been extended, once again, to May 3, 2018 despite earlier confirmation from the government to inaugurate the much-delayed project on May 1.
|15.||CPPA proposes 45 paisa per unit hike in Discos’ tariffs
The Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) has proposed a 45 paisa per unit increase in Discos tariffs for March 2018 under monthly fuel price mechanism due to steep increase in furnace oil prices and massive reduction in hydel generation.
|16.||Sales tax in locally manufactured tractors may be abolished
The government is likely to abolish sales tax on locally manufactured tractors in the upcoming budget 2018-19.
|17.||Iran switches from dollar to euro for official reporting currency
Iran will start reporting foreign currency amounts in euros rather than US dollars, state media said on Wednesday as part of the country’s effort to reduce its reliance on the US currency due to political tension with Washington.
The outstanding level of external debt and its servicing has become a hot topic these days. Speaking on the subject in Beijing, International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde warned China about what she said saddling other countries with a “problematic increase in debt” through its ambitious global infrastructure project.
|19.||Currency exchange rates