The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that Pakistan has made "substantial progress" toward meeting policy commitments needed to unlock loans the country needs to avoid default, Bloomberg News reported on Monday.
The international lender said Pakistan has a few more tasks before it can unlock a $6.5 billion loan to avoid a default, putting pressure on the government to secure assurances from countries that have promised financing support.
Pakistan is now the only South Asian country that’s yet to secure a bailout from the multilateral lender as Sri Lanka clinched financing this week and Bangladesh pushes on with carrying out IMF-mandated reforms.
“A staff-level agreement will follow once the few remaining points are closed,” the report quoted Esther Perez Ruiz, the IMF’s resident r...
Pakistan’s decades-old policies that give preferential access to state resources to a select few sectors and ensure strong government footprints have placed it among nations that have the lowest inclusive growth and low access to education and healthcare, endangering the unparalleled demographic dividends.
A book of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), “Promoting Inclusive Growth in the Middle East and North Africa: Challenges and Opportunities in a Post-Pandemic World”, outlines the prevailing poor economic conditions in a part of the world to which Pakistan also belongs.
The countries that have the lowest inclusive growth scores are Yemen, Mauritania and Pakistan. They lag behind other countries in the private sector and financial inclusion the most.
In terms of access...
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has abolished the mandatory minimum fee of 1.5%, which was being charged by banks from merchants on financial transactions done through debit and credit cards, and allowed financial institutions to charge even less than 1.5% to promote digital banking.
The central bank has maintained maximum limit of the fee at 2.5%, according to a notification issued on Friday.
Besides, the SBP made it mandatory for all e-commerce players and online payment receivers in Pakistan to start accepting payments through cards maximum by June 30, 2023.
Earlier, fuel stations had stopped accepting payments through debit and credit cards and demanded the abolition of 1.5% fee.
Also, petroleum product dealers and oil marketing companies (OMCs) like Pakistan State Oil ...
The “Make in Pakistan” mobile phones dream seems to have fallen flat, despite tax benefits of over Rs46 billion given in the last fiscal year, as the government has failed to ensure localisation of mobile handsets manufacturing in violation of a state policy.
The criminal negligence on part of the Engineering Development Board (EDB) and the Ministry of Industries has also led to giving illegal tax benefits beyond June 2022 on packaging materials, in addition to creating another preferential businessmen-class after the car assemblers.
Sources told The Express Tribune that the EDB and Ministry of Industries have failed to ensure the one year to two years localisation plan of the devices and the material used in the manufacturing of the mobile phones.
Three years ago, the pr...
Pakistan’s import of petroleum products, which is the largest contributor to its total import bill, has decreased by 5% to $1.26 billion in February compared to the previous month of January, according to official data reported on Friday. However, despite the decline, it still accounts for almost one-third of the country’s import bill.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Arif Habib Limited Head of Research Tahir Abbas said, “The drop in commodity import is attributed to a decrease in demand due to a massive rupee depreciation and the imposition of new taxes on the recommendation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).”
“The rupee has depreciated by 60% in the last year to Rs282 against the US dollar. The government has also imposed a petroleum development levy of Rs50 per lit...
Pakistan’s agriculture sector has the potential to overcome the current account deficit and balance-of-payment crisis within six years, according to State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Former Governor Salim Raza.
Speaking at ‘Agri Connections 2023’, organised by the Pakistan Agricultural Coalition (PAC) on Thursday, Raza noted that the agriculture sector must sustainably grow at 6% to achieve the necessary economic growth and job creation. He added that the agriculture growth rate has remained stagnant over the years, contributing to a trade deficit of $5.5 billion in food and cotton imports in FY22, further widening the current account deficit to $17.4 billion in the same year.
The PAC study highlights practical solutions to boost the agriculture sector’s major crop yields up to i...
The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank rose by 0.4% on a week-on-week basis to $4.3 billion, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday.
On March 10, 2023, the SBP’s foreign currency reserves stood at $4,319.1 million, up by $18 million compared to $4,301 million on March 3.
The central bank didn’t give any reason for the rise.
Overall, the liquid foreign currency reserves held by the country, including the net reserves held by banks other than the SBP, stood at $9,846.8 million. The net reserves held by banks amounted to $5,527.7 million.
Read more: SBP’s forex reserves rise to $4.3b
Ismail Iqbal Securities, Head of Research, Fahad Rauf recently said that any further improvement in Pakistan’s foreign currency reserves level de...
Owing to the increase in oil prices in the international market and depreciation of the Pakistani rupee, the federal government on Wednesday raised the price of petrol by Rs5 per litre effective immediately.
“In the last fortnight, Platts Singapore prices registered an increase. This along with a depreciation of Pak Rupee has resulted in an increase of POL products in Pakistan,” the finance ministry said a press statement.
According to the ministry, petrol will now be available at Rs272 per litre, as compared to its previous price of Rs267 per litre. Likewise, the government enhanced high-speed diesel (HSD) prices by Rs13, from Rs280 per litre to Rs293 per litre.
Read more: Petrol price slashed by Rs5 per litre
The prices of kerosene oil have been increased by Rs2.56, from...
Pakistan has managed to convince the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to reduce external additional loan requirement to $6 billion amid government’s desire to give Rs150 billion subsidised petrol package to motorcyclists.
In order to avoid an objection by the IMF, roughly Rs150 billion annual subsidy on account of Rs25 to Rs50 per litre is planned to be recovered from car owners, according to discussions that took place at the Prime Minister’s House on Monday.
“The proposal is to raise the petrol price in the range of Rs300 to Rs325 per litre for car owners but reduce it to Rs250 to Rs225 per litre for motorcyclists,” according to sources.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is throwing a new challenge to the economic team at a time when the finance ministry and the State Bank ...
United States (US) lawmakers met with the Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation on Friday to discuss the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) Financial Group, Coindesk reported on Saturday citing a source.
Democratic US Representative Maxine Waters held briefings with officials from the two regulators and the Treasury Department, hours after the startup-focused SVB’s collapse, the report said.
The report comes after SVB collapsed on Friday in the largest bank failure since the 2008 financial crisis, roiling global markets and stranding billions of dollars belonging to companies and investors.
Separately, Representative Ro Khanna said in a tweet on Friday that he reached out to both the White House and the Treasury Department to discuss the situation wi...