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Old June 17th, 2012, 07:30 AM   #3501
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Originally Posted by deltaone View Post
Rs577 billion allocated for Sindh budget 2012-2013

The Government of Sindh unveiled a Rs577 billion budget for the fiscal year 2012-13, Express News reported on Monday.

Provincial Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah announced the budget.

During his speech, Shah mentioned that around 40% of the total budget have been allocated to developmental projects.

“We have reduced our non-developmental expenditure during the last few years,” he said.

He further added that the estimated revenue for year 2012-2013 is also 25% higher than the last year.

Entailing a capital of Rs570 billion and a deficit of Rs7 billion, the budget has allocated Rs20 billion for local governments which neither been restored nor dissolved under the Sindh Assembly Act.

According to a copy of budget obtained by Express News, an amount of Rs12 billion has been allocated for the health sector, while Rs9 billion will be spent on education.
Rs35 billion has been reserved for foreign projects, while Rs14 billion has been allocated for the projects funded by the federal government.

The budget has shown a growth of 40%, breaking the record of all the previous budgets.

Once again health and education sector gets the lowest allocation
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Old June 17th, 2012, 07:58 AM   #3502
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Originally Posted by deltaone View Post
Pak-Malaysia trade increased by 35pc after FTA

Karachi—Consul General of Malaysia, Abu Bakar Mamat said that Malaysia and Pakistan recorded 25 and 10 per cent increase in bilateral trade in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

The positive growth was subsequent to the signing of FTA (free trade agreement) between the two countries in 2007. He added that there is a need to create awareness among the manufacturers on the liberalisation of trade in goods and services and the elimination of tariff on their respective products.

He mooted the idea to hold seminar both in Pakistan and Malaysia in this regard. Addressing a luncheon meeting at the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI) on Wednesday, the Malaysian diplomat said that a Malaysian company will start the upgrading work of M-9 dual carriageway from Karachi to Hyderabad and the work is expected to start very soon.

Responding to a question on Malaysia Airlines’ decision to cease operation in Pakistan earlier this year, he said that it was part of the airline’s route rationalisation and that the closure of its operation has nothing to do with the law and order situation in Karachi.

He also said that Malaysia is currently importing rice mainly from Thailand and Vietnam and Pakistani rice exporters may want to be more aggressive in penetrating Malaysian market and increase their exports.

With regard to the trade imbalance with Malaysia, he advised the Pakistani manufacturers to re-energise and revitalise branding efforts of their manufacturing goods for export to Malaysia. He informed that Malaysia and five other ASEAN members have signed ASEAN Free Trade Agreement and Pakistani exporters can make Malaysia as the hub to enter ASEAN market of 600 million population.

Biggest issue for Pakistani products is branding
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Old June 17th, 2012, 09:39 AM   #3503
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Old June 17th, 2012, 07:38 PM   #3504
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A simple solution to Pakistan’s economic conundrum

KARACHI: An emerging economy, by definition, has the potential to grow more significantly than a developed economy. If Pakistan is one, then, logically speaking, all our efforts should push for a proper policy framework that will help us realise this underlying growth potential.

During the 2008 global supply shocks, concerns over the dollar to rupee exchange rate depreciation and inflationary pressures were pushed to centre stage in Pakistan. These became a source of fear to policy makers, who clung to the general mantra of curbing inflation. The prescribed antidote was monetary tightening, which has since been complemented by calls from the IMF to withdraw subsidies.

The prescription was more ad hoc than well thought out, since it fundamentally failed to achieve what it set out to do – ie, attract more foreign exchange so that foreign exchange reserves were adequately replenished to support the value of the rupee and restrain the second bout of inflation that would have been caused by its depreciation.

This is an apt example of how inert economic theory can be in achieving economic targets, when implemented in true word and spirit. Even at a discount rate of 15%, real interest rates in Pakistan remained negative. In addition to that, unusual increases in interest rates can also have the signalling effect of economic distress; something far from helpful for any economy.

Let’s walk through a simple example of a hypothetical company with high financial leverage to see what can be presumed to have happened. The company records sales of Rs10 billion; assets of Rs12.5 billion (based on an asset turnover of 0.8, which is usual for a manufacturing concern); interest rate (pre-monetary tightening) 10%; interest rate (post-monetary tightening) 15%; debt to assets ratio of 50% (within State bank’s limit of up to 80%); an earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) margin of 12%; and a tax rate of 35%. The result is given in Table One above.

The interest rate hike substantially decreases net profitability and the interest coverage ratio, making the company less palatable not only for an equity investor but also for debt providers. Given this, it is not surprising that not only did FDI, but private sector credit growth also has gradually dried up since the central bank took a hawkish monetary policy stand.

Now complement this with another policy: that of withdrawing energy subsidies. Withdrawal would have the effect of reducing gross and EBIT margins, pushing companies even more out of profitability. Any adjustments in prices charged to consumers would result in inflationary pressure. Perhaps these are some of the reasons why core inflation in Pakistan has been stubborn and remained in double digits.

A very simple solution to Pakistan’s economic revitalisation is that of combined monetary and fiscal stimulus. Obviously, the delicate balance between the much-needed stimulus and extravagance will need to be managed with extreme caution, finesse and responsibility.

Having lower interest rates seems to be a good means to breaking the pervasive economic stupor. The solution, however, seems too obvious to be believable. Let us see how it would work: the results are summed up in the flow-chart above.

A simple hypothetical example in Table Two illustrates the type of relationship between M2, productivity and inflation that is being proposed here. Velocity of money is assumed to be 1, so M2 is equal to Nominal GDP.

M2 is a category within the money supply that includes all physical money such as coins and currency demand deposits, in addition to all time-related deposits, savings deposits, and non-institutional money-market funds.

The calculations in Table Two are under a scenario where the home currency is not appreciating as a result of increased economic growth and FDI; in which case the real GDP growth would sustain at a higher level and inflation would tend to fall earlier. The GDP per capita would grow five times by the end of the fifth year, bringing Pakistan into the mid-level per capita income bracket.

This seems to be quite an achievable feat. A feat that is going to transform the entire perception of Pakistan on the global economic landscape, and which may catapult Pakistan into a vibrant growth story.


Policy to focus on value addition ie import of raw material, value addition in Pakistan, and export of value added finished products. In order for economic growth to be sustainable, such an economic transition is extremely important.
Extremely strong regulatory framework to keep speculative activity in check, especially in assets whose supply is naturally limited; eg real estate.

Pakistan should not choke gas supply to industries. The estimated recoverable gas reserves are 27 trillion cubic feet. The annual consumption is 1.2 trillion cubic feet, at which rate the reserves can last for almost two decades. Isn’t that enough to plan and arrange supply of alternate fuels?


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Old June 17th, 2012, 10:53 PM   #3505
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could boost trade?
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Old June 18th, 2012, 10:45 PM   #3506
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graph shows that economic progress during army rule is better than democracy ............so in my view give throne to amry dictators
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Old June 22nd, 2012, 12:43 AM   #3507
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An interesting & thought provoking article

The Secret Strength of Pakistan's Economy


It’s early morning in Karachi, Pakistan’s biggest city, and Muhammad Nasir is outside his makeshift shelter of palm leaves, rags, and bamboo, washing up after breakfast. He uses water stolen from a nearby supply pipe that belongs to the local water utility. The 17-year-old bids farewell to his mother, an unlicensed midwife, and walks to his tire-repair shop, an open-air stand in a residential area with a table of tools and a wooden bench. He checks to make sure the electricity he’s drawing illegally from the overhead power line is on so he can run his tire pump. Then he sends 10-year-old Abid, one of his two employees, along with 12-year-old Irfan, to get tea from a nearby shop.

Nasir’s business, his home, his power and water supply, and even the cup of tea Abid brings him don’t exist in Pakistan’s official figures. They’re part of another economy that doesn’t pay taxes or heed regulations. It probably employs more than three quarters of the nation’s 54 million workers and is worth as much as 50 percent of Pakistan’s 18 trillion rupee ($200 billion) official gross domestic product. And while the documented economy had its smallest expansion in a decade at 2.4 percent in the year ended June 2011, soaring demand for cars, cement for houses, and other goods shows the underground market is thriving.


By Muhammad
Excellent article. Some examples: beauty parlour who charges 300 for face wash & 5000 to 10000 for bridal makeup, Barber who charges 50 Rs for haircut and makes 1000-1500 a day, GP doctor who charges 100-200 per patient and makes 2000-4000 a day, Specialist doctor who charges 500-1000 per patient and makes 10,000-20,000 a day, surgeons who charges 10,000-200,000 per operation and makes 20,000- 500,000 a day, mason who charges 800-1200 a day, car mechanic who charges 300-2000 per car and makes 2000-10000 per day, Kirana shop makes 1500-15000 a day, Pan shop makes 800-1500 a day, small Vegitable seller makes 500-1000 a day, Moving Ice cream vender makes 500-1000 a day, Rickshaw driver makes 300-500 a day, Tution teacher makes 50,000-200,000 a month, Pharmacy makes 2000-10,000 a day but all these people do not pay any income tax or coporate tax or company tax or wealth tax.
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Old June 22nd, 2012, 06:44 PM   #3508
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Thanks for sharing that! Excellent article indeed.

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Old June 24th, 2012, 03:08 AM   #3509
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good read indeed. I think there is an urgent need to establish severe laws against tax evasion and curbs to tackle undocumented underground economy. One could only hope the next government is sincere and does so. This would mean more revenue for the state to spend on development.
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Old June 24th, 2012, 03:10 AM   #3510
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Shifting patterns: Pakistan’s exports tilting to Asia, away from GCC, US

KARACHI: The Middle East and the United States are decreasing in importance as export markets for Pakistan, as exporters increasingly target countries in South Asia and East Asia.

While the European Union is still by far the largest destination for Pakistani exports, South Asia – which includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka – is now the second-most important market for Pakistani products. The EU absorbed 24.6% of Pakistani exports, compared to 28.4% in 2003. By contrast, South Asia used to account for just 6.3% of Pakistani exports in 2003 and is now the destination for 16.7% of Pakistan’s export earnings.

This growth appears to be led by Afghanistan, which is now Pakistan’s second-largest single country market, behind the US. Pakistan exported $3.8 billion worth of goods to the US in 2011 and about $2.7 billion to Afghanistan. The US and Canadian share of Pakistani exports has dropped from 24.7% in 2003 to 16% last year.

Perhaps surprising, however, is the growing importance of East Asia – particularly China – as an export destination for Pakistan. People are familiar with the fact that Pakistan’s imports from China have been rising substantially. Yet most seem unaware that China is also one of the two fastest growing export destinations for Pakistan (the other being Afghanistan). Pakistani exports to China have been growing at 26.3% per year for the last eight years, making China the number four destination for Pakistani exports, up from number 13 eight years ago.

Pakistan’s trade with China is, nonetheless, highly unequal and somewhat colonialist in nature. More than three-quarters of Pakistan’s exports to China are raw materials, with cotton accounting for 70% of goods leaving Pakistan for Chinese ports. (China accounts for more than half of all raw cotton exports from Pakistan.) Meanwhile, China’s exports to Pakistan – which totalled $6.5 billion last year – are mostly electronic equipment and industrial machinery.

An even more surprising fact: the importance of the Gulf Arab states to Pakistan’s exporters appears to be declining rapidly. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – comprising Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman – now accounts for 11.1% of Pakistan’s exports compared to 15% about eight years ago. Much of this shift is attributed to the fact that Pakistan now exports many more goods directly to India, compared to only a few years ago, when the UAE served as a conduit between the two countries.

And despite not granted preferential trade status to Pakistan, the EU has maintained its position as the largest destination for Pakistani exports. Within Europe, the biggest market for Pakistani exporters is Germany, followed by the United Kingdom and Italy.
While Pakistan’s trade balance has been consistently deteriorating over the past few years, it has not done so uniformly. The bulk of the increase Pakistan’s trade deficit can be attributed to higher oil prices, which have taken Pakistani imports from the Gulf to $16.1 billion in 2011, from just $3.8 billion in 2003.

The data on Pakistan’s trade patterns reflects an important point: Pakistan is no different from the rest of the world when it comes to the fact that it relies increasingly on exports to Asia, rather than the older, developed markets of Europe and the US.

However, somewhat distressingly, Pakistan’s exports do not seem to have moved up the value chain: Pakistan’s single biggest export has remained the same since 1972 – raw cotton. Before 1972, the biggest export earner for the country was raw jute from what was then East Pakistan.

And while the increased diversification has meant that Pakistani exporters are now less vulnerable to economic slowdowns in Europe and the US, Pakistan is now more vulnerable than ever to a slowdown in the Chinese economy. In addition, much of the exports to Afghanistan are likely to begin drying up once US forces exit that country in 2014. The picture for Pakistani exports is a lot less rosy than it first appears.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 03:17 AM   #3511
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Asia is the future.
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Old July 4th, 2012, 08:08 AM   #3512
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Global Innovation Index 2012 (Asia-Pacific rankings):


3. Singapore - 63.5
8. Hongkong - 58.7
13. New Zealand - 56.6
21. S. Korea - 53.9
23. Australia - 51.9
25. Japan - 51.7
32. Malaysia - 45.9
34. China - 45.4
53. Brunei - 37.7
57. Thailand - 36.9
64. India - 35.7
68. Mongolia - 35.0
73. Vietnam - 33.9
94. Sri Lanka - 29.1
95. Philippines - 29.0
100. Indonesia - 28.1
112. Bangladesh - 26.1
113. Nepal - 26.0
133. Pakistan - 23.1
138. Laos - 20.2

Infrastructure pillar:


3. S. Korea - 64.2
4. Hongkong - 63.4
7. Japan - 61.6
9. Singapore - 60.6
13. Australia - 56.3
25. New Zealand - 51.9
39. China - 44.3
41. Malaysia - 44.1
53. Brunei - 38.3
60. Thailand - 36.9
69. Philippines - 33.8
74. Mongolia - 32.6
75. Vietnam - 32.5
78. India - 31.0
80. Indonesia - 30.5
81. Sri Lanka - 30.4
93. Bangladesh - 28.2
110. Nepal - 23.8
113. Cambodia - 23.0
123. Pakistan - 20.9
133. Laos -17.4

Knowledge and Technology Output:


3. Singapore - 64.9
5. China - 61.8
9. S. Korea. 57.8
14. Japan - 53.1
19. New Zealand - 49.2
34. Hongkong - 38.4
36. Malaysia - 38.0
43. Australia - 34.9
47. India - 34.0
50. Thailand - 33.5
58. Vietnam - 29.4
59. Philippines - 28.9
66. Sri Lanka - 27.1
74. Bangladesh - 25.6
84. Brunei - 23.4
90. Mongolia - 22.7
104. Indonesia - 20.4
107. Laos - 19.9
117. Pakistan - 18.1
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Old July 9th, 2012, 05:57 PM   #3513
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LTU Karachi collection to reach Rs700b

Karachi—The Large Taxpayers Unit (LTU) Karachi has posted 38 percent growth in revenue collection to Rs 695 billion during FY12 as against the collection of Rs 504 billion in the preceding fiscal year, official sources said on Saturday.

“This is a provisional figure and after finalisation, the collection is likely to reach about Rs 700 billion for the last fiscal year,” an official said on the condition of anonymity.LTU Karachi is the major revenue collection arm of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), with jurisdiction over big corporate entities.

The Federal Board of Revenue had assigned an ambitious target of Rs 714 billion to Large Taxpayers Unit Karachi for July-June 2011-12, which was up over 41 percent.The official said that the Federal Board of Revenue had already been informed that the target was too high, considering the growth target at the national level.

A LTU Karachi official said that the earnings of registered corporate entities with the unit mainly moved within the existing national growth level.

“Considering the GDP growth of 3.7 percent and inflation below 12 percent, the collection of the unit is much better,” the official added.About the advance tax collection for July- September 2012 by June 30, from various corporate entities, the official rejected any such collection and said that there was no provision in the law to demand the collection of the next fiscal year.—Agencies

Last edited by deltaone; July 9th, 2012 at 07:05 PM.
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Old July 11th, 2012, 07:26 AM   #3514
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The rise of the Pakistani middle class: Why is the retail sector in Pakistan booming?

By Farooq Tirmizi

Published: July 11, 2012

More women are entering the workforce, raising household incomes and allowing more consumer spending. DESIGN: MAHA HAIDER

It is the paradox that puzzles everybody: the headline numbers indicate an economy in an abysmal state, but everywhere one looks, there are people shopping like there is no tomorrow. How is this possible? An analysis conducted by The Express Tribune reveals a surprising answer: women.

While the headline GDP numbers suggest sluggish economic growth, not all sectors are underperforming. A closer look suggests that the economic slowdown has been far from uniform, with some sectors booming, while others are in a deep slump. The retail and wholesale sector in Pakistan was worth about $40 billion in fiscal year 2012, and has been growing at 5.3% in real (inflation-adjusted) terms for the past five years, much faster than overall economic growth during that period.

And the benefits of this growth have been visible throughout the country. While large shopping malls opening up has become common place in cities like Lahore and Karachi, national newspapers now carry advertisements for shopping malls in smaller cities like Dera Ghazi Khan, Sukkur, Sargodha, etc as well. The average Pakistani household is very clearly more able and more willing to shop than ever before.

The reasons for this newfound consumerism are complex. Despite all the complaints about inflation, household incomes for Pakistanis in urban areas rose faster than inflation by an average of about 1.5% per year between 2006 and 2011, a period of extraordinarily high inflation rates. (Rural Pakistan did not fair quite as well.) The average household size also fell during that period, further raising per capita gains.

But the real change appears to have taken place at the top quintile of urban Pakistani households: these households went from negative savings to savings that now equal approximately 14% of their incomes. This allows them considerable leeway in spending, which has resulted in a large, sustained, and very visible boom in retail and consumer goods over the past five years.

Food and consumer goods companies listed on the Karachi Stock Exchange have seen their revenues rise by over 20% per year between 2005 and 2010, the latest year for which aggregate figures are available. This figure is much faster than the 15.2% average revenue growth experienced by listed companies overall during that period.

Why household incomes have risen in this manner is not a subject that has been explored in much depth by economists or analysts. Yet a closer look at the labour force statistics reveals a rather interesting trend: the percentage of women who participate in the formal labour force has gone up from 16.3% in fiscal year 2000 to just over 24.4% in 2011.

Women, especially in urban areas, are increasingly contributing to their household income by taking on employment or starting home-based businesses where they are paid per unit of output.

This increasing economic contribution of women to the average Pakistani household has also led to an increase in the variety of products marketed to women. A decade ago, feminine hygiene products would hardly ever advertise. Now there are massive billboards advertising them in cities across the country. The lawn boom attracts headlines for its high-end designers selling to wealthy women, but the real money spinner in the lawn business is the medium to low-priced product being sold to the average middle class woman working in a white-collar service sector position who needs affordable clothing to wear to work.

Even banks have begun targeting women: Bank AL Habib advertises its savings account products to women through television and print publications.

The reasons for why women have entered the workforce are manifold. Education levels have been rising rapidly across the board. Fertility rates have dropped from 7.1 in 1980 to just over 3.1 in 2011, causing household sizes to decline. Women with fewer children have more freedom to pursue careers outside the home.

And persistently high inflation may also have forced many families to consider being more open to women working outside the house: a second income can clearly go a long way in changing the fortunes of a household. It has clearly already helped the economy through a particularly difficult time.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2012.
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Old July 11th, 2012, 11:59 AM   #3515
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Remittances surge to record high

Overseas Pakistani workers remitted a record amount of $13.186 billion in the last fiscal year ended June 30, 2012, compared with $11.201 billion received a year earlier, the SBP said.

With an impressive 17.7% annual growth, remittances sent home by overseas Pakistanis surged to a record high and crossed the psychological mark of $13 billion in the previous fiscal year 2011-12, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) announced on Tuesday.

Continuous growth in remittances is being billed as a lifeline for Pakistan’s economy, especially when energy shortages and high inflation have hurt gross domestic product (GDP) growth.

“Remittances have been playing a key role in the country’s economic performance,” said Muzammil Aslam, Managing Director of Emerging Economics Consultancy.

“One can safely say that the continuous rise in remittances in the last few years has saved Pakistan from serious economic problems including default on debt repayments.”

Aslam suggested that the government can further increase the flow of remittances if it reduces the difference between interbank and open market exchange rates for the US dollar from the present one rupee to 10 to 15 paisa. “This will encourage overseas workers to send more and more dollars through banking channels instead of illegal means.”

Invest Capital Markets analyst Khurram Schehzad commented that the continuous rise in remittances is significantly positive for the country as the money supported the economy in different forms. Overseas Pakistani workers remitted a record amount of $13.186 billion in the last fiscal year ended June 30, 2012, compared with $11.201 billion received a year earlier, the SBP said.

Except for September ($890.42 million) and November ($924.92 million), Pakistanis remitted more than $1 billion in each of the remaining 10 months.
Monthly average of remittances rose 17.73% to $1.099 billion compared with $933.41 million a year earlier.

In June overseas Pakistanis sent home $1.117 billion compared to $1.104 billion received in the same month of 2010-11.

In the same month, remittances from Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, UK, GCC countries and EU countries amounted to $333.68 million, $219.14 million, $206.60 million, $128.12 million, $126.72 million and $29.24 million respectively. In comparison, remittances from these countries were $291.55 million, $270.04 million, $204.64 million, $121.35 million, $106.20 million and $33.83 million respectively in June 2011.

Analysts believe that the SBP’s initiative for facilitation of remittances, called the Pakistan Remittance Initiative (PRI), has significantly contributed to the growth of remittances.

Since its inception in April 2009, PRI has taken a number of steps to enhance the flow of remittances through legal channels. These include preparation of strategies on remittances, taking all necessary steps to implement the overall strategy, playing an advisory role for the financial sector in terms of preparing a business case, relationship building with overseas correspondents, creating separate and efficient remittance payment highways and becoming a national focal point for overseas Pakistanis through a round-the-clock call centre.

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Old July 11th, 2012, 12:50 PM   #3516
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If not for remittances our country would've folded a long time ago.
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Old July 12th, 2012, 03:50 AM   #3517
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Pakistan, Ukraine to set up trade commission

Pakistan and Ukraine will establish an inter-governmental commission to facilitate bilateral trade, which currently stands below $200 million a year – a level that is far below than the potential.

A draft of agreement to this effect will be signed by both sides during upcoming visit of the commerce minister to Ukraine, according to the commerce ministry.

The agreement includes holding a meeting of representatives of the two countries at least once biennially and arranging special meeting of a working group of experts at a required time.

Contours of the agreement and details of the visit were finalised during a meeting between Ukraine Ambassador Volodymyr Lokomov and Senior Commerce Minister
Makhdoom Amin Fahim here on Monday. Both the sides also discussed various issues pertaining to bilateral trade.

The ambassador invited the commerce minister to come to a trip of Ukraine along with a business delegation on July 24 and 25 to explore new trade avenues.

Lokomov said Ukrainian investors were ready to invest in Pakistan, especially in the field of energy like wind and solar power generation.

Accepting the invitation, Fahim stressed the need for broadening trade relations between the two countries.

He said Pakistan had been facing an adverse balance of trade with Ukraine and it was high time to find new ways and means to reduce the trade imbalance.

In the first half of previous financial year (2011-12), the volume of bilateral trade stood at $105.8 million, with balance of trade in favour of Ukraine due to heavy import of fertilisers.

In 2010-11, Pakistan exported $81.9 million worth of goods to Ukraine while Ukraine’s exports to Pakistan stood at $71.1 million.
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Old July 13th, 2012, 07:13 AM   #3518
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Pakistani workers abroad can remit $20 billion: studyJuly 07, 2012 RECORDER REPORT

The potential workers' remittance to Pakistan is estimated to be more than $20 billion in contrast to $12 billion shown by the Balance of Payment data 2010-11, implying the existence of a large pool of contributions that can be tapped and diverted to formal channels.

This was shown by a study conducted by Dr Rashid Amjad, Dr G M Arif and Dr M Irfan of Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE). The study analysed the ten-fold increase in remittances between 2001 and 2012 and arrived at conclusions that manifold increase recorded in remittances in the last decade could largely be explained by an increase in the stock of Pakistani migrants working abroad. Their numbers increased from less than 4 million in 2004 to about 7 million in 2012.

Changes in their skill composition - becoming more skilled and better paid - also contributed to the increase. However, this explanation is critically dependent on assumptions regarding remittances sent through formal and informal channels. The study showed that a major part of recorded remittances covered not just remittances from Pakistani workers abroad but all remittances sent by the Pakistani diaspora, many of whom have acquired nationalities of their countries of residence.

The study suggested that the Pakistan Remittances Initiative (PRI), jointly started by the State Bank and the Ministry of Finance, has played an important role in diverting remittances from informal to formal channels. In this effort, they received sterling support from major commercial banks.

The study concluded that untapped remittances of over $10 billion per annum could be diverted to formal channels. This required continued efforts by the State Bank of Pakistan and commercial banks. The study concluded that there was a need to examine current procedures, and rules and regulations in countries that encouraged transfers through informal channels as well as transfers of such resources into foreign accounts. Some commercial banks were also of the view that Pakistanis should be allowed to open foreign accounts abroad. This would encourage them to deposit money in Pakistani banks abroad, instead of foreign banks.
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Old July 13th, 2012, 05:49 PM   #3519
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Overseas Pakistanis are unsung heros.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 07:25 AM   #3520
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Fiscal deficit reaches whopping Rs1.68 trillion
While the government is still trying to somehow reconcile the numbers – the budget deficit has reached a whopping Rs1.68 trillion or 8% of the total size of the economy.
This historic difference between the government’s expenditures and income is 8% of the gross domestic product (GDP) for the outgoing fiscal year 2011-12, according to preliminary reports. Sources added this is double of the original target of 4%.
The ministry had initially estimated the deficit to be Rs850 billion or 4% of the GDP. Even after it revised its estimates the figure stood at 6.1%, according to the Economic Survey of Pakistan.
The government is yet to take into account expenses incurred during the month of June; once that figure is also added, the deficit will stretch further.
An official in the finance ministry said civil accounts have not been reconciled for the month of June due to strikes observed by employees of the Accountant General of Pakistan Revenues (AGPR) demanding higher salaries. He added the government’s bank deposits had not been finalised either.
The higher deficit is the result of a number of factors. Not only was there a massive shortfall in non-tax revenue and the Federal Board of Revenue’s tax collection, the ministry also understated expenditures.
Economic managers were relying on optimism. They insisted the US would disburse money under the Coalition Support Fund, after all, and the government will be able to generate revenue by auctioning spectrum of 3G telecom services to earn at least Rs75 billion in non-tax revenues. However, none of the receipts materialised. Similarly, subsidies exceed the budgeted amount by three times.
The government is still scrambling to somehow lower the deficit.
Sources said the finance ministry is considering Rs210.4 billion to be 1% of the GDP: this is based on the assumption that the economy’s size will grow to 21.04 trillion, with an annual growth of 4.2%. According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the economy grew by 3.7% last year with its total size being Rs20.6 trillion.
By taking into account this ‘optimistic’ figure of the GDP, the ministry is understating the deficit by roughly Rs40 billion or 0.2% of the economy’s size.
In another move, the FBR is reportedly trying to overstate tax collection. Sources said the revenue collected is much lower than what the State Bank of Pakistan was communicating to the finance ministry.
The FBR has said it has collected Rs1.915 trillion, including Rs25 billion collected by the Sindh Revenue Board (SRB). Constitutional law experts, however, maintain it is illegal to treat provincial tax collection as part of federal taxes.
Contrary to FBR’s reports, the State Bank has told the finance ministry that tax revenue, including SRB’s collection, stands at Rs1.902 trillion, sources said. A finance ministry official, however, insisted the government will rely on SBP’s figures, which are based on actual deposits in the national exchequer.
FBR’s actual tax collection target was Rs1.952 trillion. Based on the actual SBP figure of Rs1.877 trillion of FBR’s tax collection, the Rs75 billion shortfall will add about 0.4% to the deficit.
The finance ministry’s spokesman was not available for comment despite repeated attempts.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2012
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