Important Business News 19th March, 2020

S.# Description Pg # Source
1. Jul-Feb CA deficit narrows down 71pc YoY The country’s current account deficit contracted by 71 percent during the first eight months of this fiscal year (FY20), mainly driven by a significant reduction in import bill and modest growth in workers’ remittances. 1 Business Recorder
2. Public debt stands at 83pc of GDP Finance Ministry has informed the federal cabinet that budget deficit stood at 3.8 percent of the GDP for the first eight months of the current fiscal year (July-February 2019-2020). 1 Business Recorder
3. Jul-Jan LSM registers 3.37pc decline YoY The Large Scale Manufacturing Index (LSMI) witnessed a decline of 3.37 percent, ie, from 140.99 points to 136.34 points during July-January 2019-20 against the same period last year, as per the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. 1 Business Recorder
4. Technical supplementary grant for FBR approved by ECC A meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Wednesday approved Rs4,152 million technical supplementary grant for the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) from Pakistan Raises Revenue Programme to meet inevitable expenditures for the achievement of disbursement linked indicators (DLIs). 1 Business Recorder
5. SBP adopts measures to promote digital payments In order to curtail the risk of spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and limit the physical interaction of citizens at bank branch level, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has waived all bank charges for online fund transfer services and the transactions charges on Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) System for customers. 1 Business Recorder
6. Ministry clears $588m funds The Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Wednesday cleared $588 million in funds from the World Bank (WB) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in support for the COVID-19 emergency response and to address the socioeconomic disruption associated with it. 1 Business Recorder
7. Fifth market halt in 8 days Pakistan Stock Exchange Wednesday triggered another market halt on 10:17am to suspend trading for 45 minutes. 1 Business Recorder
8. ‘Wished’ risk coverage PPIB facing stiff resistance from finance division
Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) is reportedly facing stiff resistance from the Finance Division on “wished” risk coverage to the Chinese company, which is establishing Kohala Hydropower Project under the CPEC, well-informed sources in the PPIB told Business Recorder.
1 Business Recorder
9. Stocks continue to bleed on Covid-19 fears Pakistan Stock Exchange Wednesday recorded second worst-ever decline in its history due to panic selling on investor concerns over coronavirus spread. 1     Business Recorder
10. All educational institutions’ exams put off till June 1 Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood on Wednesday said that the government had decided to postpone all examinations including those of boards and the Cambridge system till the first of June, amid fear of coronavirus outbreak in the country. 3 Business Recorder
11. SECP directs listed cos to modify planning for AGMs The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has directed the listed companies to modify their usual planning for annual general meetings to avoid large gathering at one place. 3 Business Recorder
12. Successful Hajj applicants may apply for refund of deposited money The successful Hajj 2020 applicants, who want their deposited money back for any reason, have been asked by the Ministry of Religious Affairs to apply for the refund of their deposited money. 3 Business Recorder
13. HEC develops databank of online courses at national, int’l levels The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has developed a databank of the online courses available at the national and international levels, and shared it with universities, while the university faculty has also been asked to prepare virtual courses for dissemination to students. 3 Business Recorder
14. Pakistan jettisons Indian ministry’s remarks Pakistan on Wednesday categorically rejected India External Affairs Ministry’s irresponsible remarks in which it claimed that Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir was its “integral part” and described the assertion as clear violation of the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. 3 Business Recorder
15. Business leaders disappointed over meagre cut in policy rate Business community has expressed serious concern over minor reduction in basic policy discount rate in monetary policy announced by the State Bank of Pakistan which seems to be totally against the global wisdom under the current extreme circumstances. 5     Business Recorder
16. Covid-19 threat PPMA extends support to meet drugs’ requirements
Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) has said that as the foremost national duty, it will do its best to ensure availability of essential medicines required in the country to deal with the Coronavirus health emergency but the industry requires best of assistance from the relevant state and government institutions.
5     Business Recorder
17. PRGMEA seeks govt’s help for textile industry Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) has appealed to the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan for immediate steps to support the textile industry as under the current circumstances of global challenge of Coronavirus Pandemic, readymade garments manufacturers and exporters are facing the greater challenge of raw material procurement. 5     Business Recorder
18. Online education, business activities Legal VoIPs, VPNs & video conferencing apps can be used: PTA
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Wednesday announced that all educational institutes and online businesses can use legal Voice over Internet Protocols (VoIP), Virtual Private Networks (VPN), and video conferencing applications to carry on their online activities without any restrictions.
7 Business Recorder
19. Exportable goods Domestic sales’ documentation becomes hard nut to crack for FBR
Documentation of domestic sales of the exporting goods has become a hard nut to crack for the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) as it invites the exporters’ wrath on the one hand and gives birth to the false claimants of sales tax refunds on the other, said sources.
16 Business Recorder
20. Saving employees from coronavirus Punjab govt plans ‘governance’ with 30pc officers only
The Punjab government is reportedly contemplating to carry out working of provincial government departments with only 30 per cent strength till April 5 in a bid to save its employees from Coronavirus.
16 Business Recorder
21. FDA seeks approval to declare 21 roads as commercial The Faisalabad Development Authority (FDA) has forwarded summary to Punjab government for seeking approval to declare the 21 roads of some residential colonies under FDA control as commercial. 16 Business Recorder
22. ‘Corona tele medicine web portal’ launched at UHS While the number of corona positive cases is on the rise across country, the Punjab government Wednesday formally launched “Corona Tele Medicine Web Portal” and Corona Mobile app. 16 Business Recorder
23. SMEs apprehensive about privatisation of SME Bank The small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sector is apprehensive about privatisation of the SME Bank Limited which is likely to be completed in the next month. 16 Business Recorder
24. Export, import matters Ministries, except MoC, banned from issuing permissions
The Federal Cabinet has imposed a ban on issuance of export/import permissions by the ministries except Ministry of Commerce (MoC) as the latter was unhappy on such instances, saying that this practice promotes rent seeking; well-informed sources in the MoC told Business Recorder.
20 Business Recorder
25. 208 coronavirus patients being treated in Sindh, says Murad Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that 208 patients of coronavirus, 57 in Karachi and 151 in Sukkur, are under treatment. 20 Business Recorder
26. SC allows Air Marshal Arshad to continue as PIA CEO The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed Air Marshal Arshad Mehmood Malik to continue as chief executive officer (CEO) of the Pakistan International Airlines Corporation Limited (PIACL). 20 Business Recorder
27. ECC surprised as ministry suddenly withdraws request for sugar import  Amid rising prices, the Ministry of Industries and Production on Wednesday withdrew its request for sugar imports at the last moment leaving the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet to approve a couple of technical supplementary grants.   10 Dawn
28. Currency exchange rates   Countries  
U.S. U.K EURO CHINA SAUDIA ARABIA Symbol   $ £ ¥ ﷼, SR Rates   158.60 192.32 174.80 22.66 42.20
9 Business Recorder

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