Saturday, April 13, 2019

Current Debt Crisis Threatens Pakistan's Future

Pakistan is battling massive twin deficits, deteriorating foreign currency reserves, low exports, diminishing tax revenues, a weak currency, unsustainable external debt payments, and soaring sovereign debt. This crisis has forced the country to seek IMF (International Monetary Fund) bailout, the 13th such request in Pakistan's 72 year history.

Pakistan Debt Service: Source SBP
Pakistan's debt repayment costs rose to $5.4 billion for first half of fiscal 2019 ( July 2018-Dec 2018), up from $7.5 billion for the entire fiscal 2018 (July 2017-June 2018), according to the State Bank of Pakistan. At this rate, the total debt service cost for current fiscal 2019 will exceed $11 billion, adding to the nation's debt crisis.

Pakistan's External Debt. Source: Wall Street Journal

This $11 billion debt service cost will add to the projected trade deficit of nearly $40 billion for the current fiscal year. How can Pakistan fund this balance of payments deficit of about $50 billion? Remittances of $21 billion in current FY2019 from Pakistani diaspora are expected to reduce it to $30 billion. PTI government has taken on billions of dollars in loans from Gulf Arabs and China. Given the low rates of foreign investments in the country, a big chunk of the remaining deficit will have to be met by borrowing even more funds which will further increase future debt service costs.

Pakistan's Current Account Deficit. Source: Trading Economics

As a result, Pakistan is now battling massive twin deficits, deteriorating foreign currency reserves, low exports, diminishing tax revenues, a weak currency, onerous external debt payments, and soaring sovereign debt. This crises has forced the country to seek IMF (International Monetary Fund) bailout, the 13th such request in Pakistan's 72 year history.

Pakistan Debt as Percentage of GDP. Source: Trading Economics

In the short term, PTI government's efforts are beginning to pay off. The current account deficit (CAD) in first 8 months of FY2019 (July-Feb 2018) declined to $8.844 billion, down 22.5%, from $11.421 billion in same period last year, according to SBP as reported by Dawn newspaper.

Pakistan's Debt Burden Highest Among 25 Emerging Nations

However, Pakistan's economic woes are far from over. The country's twin deficits are structural. Its exports and tax collections as percentage of its GDP are among the lowest in the world. British civil society organization Jubilee Debt Campaign conducted research in 2017 that showed that Pakistan has received IMF loans in 30 of the last 42 years, making this one of the most sustained periods of lending to any country.

History of Pakistan's IMF Bailouts

Pakistan needs to find a way to build up and manage significant dollar reserves to avoid recurring IMF bailouts. The best way to do it is to focus on increasing the country's exports that have remained essentially flat in absolute dollars and declined as percentage of GDP over the last 5 years. Pakistan's economic attaches posted at the nation's embassies need to focus on all export opportunities in international markets and help educate Pakistani businesses on the best way to take advantage of them. This needs to be concerted effort involving various government ministries and departments working closely with industry groups. At the same time, the new government needs to crack down on illicit outflow of dollars from the country.

Pakistan Debt Service as Percentage (45%) of Budget Among World's Highest 

Azad Labon Ke Sath host Faraz Darvesh discusses Imran Khan's challenges with Misbah Azam and Riaz Haq (

Related Links:

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Pakistan's Debt Crisis

Can Pakistan Avoid Recurring IMF Bailouts?

Pakistan is the 3rd Fastest Growing Trillion Dollar Economy

CPEC Financing: Is China Ripping Off Pakistan?

Information Tech Jobs Moving From India to Pakistan

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"Failed State" Pakistan Saw 22% Growth in Per Capita Income in Last 5 Years

CPEC Transforming Pakistan

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Riaz Haq's YouTube Channel

PakAlumni Social Network


Azad said...

Instead of seeing Pakistan, May be you should look at India. Not too long ago, you were in the same position. These are things that can happen with bad economic policies & can be dealt with.

Riaz Haq said...

Azad: "May be you should look at India. Not too long ago, you were in the same position. These are things that can happen with bad economic policies & can be dealt with."

India runs huge #trade deficits year after year. It's heavily dependent on western money for its #economy to survive. If it wasn't for the end of the Cold War, India would be in serious trouble. …

Bilal B said...

Pakistani businessman are already being alienated by European customers due to FATF action. We must focus on China and make best use. Facing regular scrutiny in Europe while Chinese are more open minded. Also culturally we are more close to Chinese compared to western countries.

Aman Goel said...

Better we call it "Forex Reserves" than western money. India isn't only country who had boosted growth in per capita GDP after economic liberalization. China did it.
ROK even transformed into developed country. And they also invest in other countries.

West doesn't literally "love" any country. Nor India's relations have been very good with West, no matter what how much people hype.

Riaz Haq said...

AG: " India isn't only country who had boosted growth in per capita GDP after economic liberalization. China did it."

We're not talking about domestic growth here; instead, the topic is trade gap and current account gap.

Like Pakistan, India too runs huge trade deficits and it needs foreign inflows to pay for the difference. These inflows come from the West which sees India as a strategic ally since the end of the Cold War.

India's trade deficit has widened to USD 165.52 billion during the 11 months of the current fiscal from USD 148.55 billion compared to the year-ago period, the data said.

Aman Goel said...

I repeat, those inflows aren't there because west has some sort of love for India. Pakistan has been an ally of West way before end of Cold War. China has even better inflows.
One will invest capital for sure if returns are guaranteed. And that needs stability.

M Steinmeyer said...

Pakistan has had an overvalued exchange rate, low interest rates, and subdued inflation over the last few years. This loose monetary policy has led to high domestic demand, with two-thirds of Pakistan’s economic growth stemming from domestic consumption. An overvalued exchange rate has led to a very high level of imports and impeded exports. Pakistan’s high fiscal deficit was accelerated even further in 2017 and 2018 because elections have historically caused spending to rise (both of the most recent fiscal crises followed elections).

Perhaps the greatest financial issues facing Pakistan are its pervasive tax evasion, miserably low savings and chronically low level of domestic resource mobilization. Taxes in Pakistan comprise less than 10 percent of GDP, a far cry from the 15-20 percent of countries that are in it's neighborhood. Pakistan also suffers from impediments and gross mismanagement in the energy sector causing frequent and widespread power outages that hurt its competitiveness on top of the over-valued rupee.

While other developing countries and countries in its neighborhood have made structural progress and improved their external trade, Pakistan has had a reversal. Moreover, its rivalries and parity seeking focus forces the country to over rely on China in its infrastructure projects and an opaque debt burden.

Near term outlook suggests hampered GDP growth of around 4%.

Riaz Haq said...

AG: "I repeat, those inflows aren't there because west has some sort of love for India......China has even better inflows."

It's not love for India but strategic interests that guide West's policies. And right now, the West sees checking China's rise as its topmost priority in which India is seen as plying a role.

Bulk of China's inflows are made of export surpluses with many countries....including India. China's trade surplus with India exceeds $50 billion a year.

Here's an excerpt of a piece by Indian entrepreneur Jaithirth Rao published by Indian Express:

"Uday Kotak said a few months back, in the course of an interview, that he was amazed that in his new office in Mumbai, not one of the furniture or fixture items were made in India. My friend Rahul Bhasin conducted a similar exercise in his office in Delhi and discovered pretty much the same thing. The carpet is from China, the furniture is from Malaysia, the light fixtures are from China, the glass partition is from all places, Jebel Ali in the Middle East and so on. Kotak went on to add that even Ganesha statues are no longer made in India. They are imported from China."

Bilal B said...

According to my sources a pleasant surprise is awaiting IMF from China. China will propose dollar-for-dollar matching against objections raised from IMF. There is no praise left for mastery of Chinese strategy.

Anonymous said...


1. For India Oil is #1 import of Oil, almost 34%. Oil price is not it use to be and with the coming collapse of Oil price, things will go better only. Also India will use more of Iranian imports paying in Rupees.

2. Per RBI data, India's forex reserves grows at $2USBD every week. In other words it takes india just two months to grow more reserves than Pak's entire reserves.

3. Pak has to worry as to why no one wants to invest in Pak. CPEC seems to be doing diddly squat to improve Pak's economy.

4. When OIl price collapses, gulf jobs will vanish. Pak will be double hit with loss of remittance, a key factor in pak's forex.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan #textile industry now operating at full capacity & adding capacity to grow #exports. A big textile group is eyeing its sales to grow by around 20% in the next two years, but is expecting all the increase in sales to come from #exports. #economy

The ministry of finance sources are expecting textile exports to grow to $7-7.5 billion in the April-June quarter – average monthly exports of $2.3-2.5 billion versus $2.0 billion in Jul18-Feb19, and $2.2 billion in Apr18-Jun18. Although industry players are not too bullish on immediate off-take, they certainly are seeing significantly high numbers in 2-3 years. For details read “Textile ready to take off“, published on 14th December 2018.

One big textile group is eyeing its sales to grow by around 20 percent in the next two years, but is expecting all the increase in sales to come from exporting. On the flip, the higher concentration of sales growth in the past five years was in domestic sales. That is the story of a big player, which is reaching a size where big expansions are hard to come by without resolving the issues of basic raw material – cotton.
However, there are many other companies that have the potential to grow at a much higher pace because of their relatively smaller size. The positive sentiments are across the board where many players are aggressively expanding. The potential is in value addition. There are multiple reasons for exuberance – currency devaluation, subsidy to textile, and availability of energy at regional competitive rates are known to all.
One big booster is improvement in perception. The overall image of the country is improving and the opening up of visa regimes is helping as well. The buyers are visiting and new orders are being placed, and there is soft commitment of new businesses, given that the expansions are carried out.
The textile exports, in volume terms, stopped growing, in the last decade. The problem of currency overvaluation is more of a recent phenomenon – started in 2014. Prior to that, energy and security started hitting the exports bad. Enough has been said on the energy, and its availability is paying dividends.
The perception improvement needs to be highlighted. The textile and other exporters swayed away from exporting to domestic sector, before the currency was capped by Dar. Buyers were not coming and it was hard to get new business. There were fears of getting shipment delayed from Pakistan and that had helped Bangladesh to grow.
Now the situation is changing. If the travel advisory from the US is relaxed, it would be a game changer for Pakistan exports – be it in goods or services. With recent tariff war between US and China, and protests against low wages in Bangladesh, buyers are thinking to diversify from these two markets. Pakistan has the opportunity to grab its lost share.
However, building requisite backward linkages are required. Three big textile players resonated that without enhancing cotton production, it is hard for textile industry to reach its true potential. One of the reasons for competitiveness erosion is fall in cotton production, which has reduced from its peak of 14-15 million bales per annum to around 10 million bales.
The long term strategy should be to take annual cotton production to 20 million bales in 5 years or so. The need is to work on our agriculture strength. The cotton seed market is orphan today with too many kids on the street – every district has multiple unregulated seed companies. The stewardship is missing. Industry players are of the opinion that the seed industry needs to be regulated and serious consolidation is required to improve the yield. The other factor is to do away with price support to other crops – such as sugarcane, which has resulted in substitution to sugarcane from cotton.

Munir said...

Riazbhai please mayus na ho. Pakistan has big oil reserves and gold and inshallah we will be in a diiferent league. Time aayega jab har banda will be strong with money in pockets inshallah and the world will look at Pakistan with praise. Pakistan Zindabad!

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan All Set To Cross USD 15 billion Mark In #Textile #Exports. “The textile industry exports is likely to cross $15 billion mark in case it continues to grow by 10 percent on an average for the remaining period of current fiscal.

Gohar Ejaz, patron in chief of APTMA (All Pakistan Textile Manufacturers Association) stressed that the availability of energy at regionally competitive price has boosted textile exports by 8.5% in the month of January 2019 on a y-o-y comparison in the corresponding period.

“The textile industry exports is likely to cross $15 billion mark in case it continues to grow by 10 percent on an average for the remaining period of current fiscal. It would likely be a record achievement of textile exports in such a short span of time. The exports of USD 3.5 billion yarn and fabric annually may boost textile exports to USD 14 billion in case closed capacity worth USD 3 billion exports is revived through the enablers ensured by the government,” pointed out Ejaz.

Riaz Haq said...

Interloop to raise Rs4.9b at PSX this week

Interloop Limited – the world’s largest socks exporter based in Faisalabad with Puma, Nike and H&M among its big clients – is set to raise record financing in the private sector at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) this week.

It is estimated to raise a minimum of Rs4.9 billion through the sale of 109 million shares at the bidding price starting from Rs45 per share, which may go to Rs63 during the two-day book-building process on Wednesday and Thursday.

Corporations and high net-worth individuals will participate in the bidding to find a strike price, at which the shares will be sold to them and later to the general public at the same price. The company will be listed at the PSX in the second week of April.

“The financing to be raised through book building and IPO (initial public offering) will be invested in expansion of hosiery production and setting up a new plant for (stitched) denim jeans,” Shahid Ali Habib, CEO of Arif Habib Limited, the IPO consultant, told The Express Tribune.

Senior associate investment banker at the consultant firm Dabeer Hasan added that Interloop Limited produced 50-55 million dozen of socks a year at its existing four hosiery plants – three in Faisalabad and one in Lahore.

Besides, it is also running an associate hosiery firm in Bangladesh. The world’s largest socks exporter, having 3.5-4% market share in global socks supplies, is aimed at setting up another hosiery plant in Faisalabad and a stitched denim jeans plant in Lahore, he said.

Interloop emerged as the top global supplier of hosiery after a former top Chinese exporter diverted sales to the domestic market recently, he added.

“The expansion is estimated to cost a total of Rs11.2 billion. This includes (a minimum) Rs4.9 billion through the sale of shares at the PSX,” Hasan revealed.

Besides, it has already raised a debt of Rs2.8 billion from Habib Bank Limited (HBL) for the expansion. “The expansion projects are expected to come on line in the next two years. So as and when the firm will feel the need for required gap funds, it may utilise internal resources or may take loans from banks,” he said.

The company is expanding production, keeping in view growing demand from around the world in hosiery segment, while it is sharing its stitched denim designs with its clients including Levi’s and H&M these days, said the senior associate.

“Interloop is not only in talks with its existing customers, but is also approaching new customers for its denim range. Given the global growth forecast in both hosiery and denim segments and the overall growth forecast in the garment industry, Interloop is positioned to add to its long-term growth in revenue and market share,” the company stated in its prospectus.

Habib said the company posted a profit of Rs2.2 billion in the first half (July-December) of current fiscal year 2018-19. It had recorded a profit of Rs3.8 billion in FY18.

“The company is offering shares for sale at a price (Rs45 per share), which is equivalent to 7.9 times of earnings per share (EPS) for FY19 and 6.5 times of FY20,” he said, adding it was going to be the first listing at the PSX in 2019.

Out of the total 109 million shares allocated for sale during the IPO, the company would sell 75% (or 81.75 million shares) to institutional investors and high net-worth individuals and 25% (27.25 million shares) to retail investors.

Bilal B said...

Sad that our politicians are not upping the game to match the Chinese. My sources say when China was approached to share CPEC details with IMF, the Chinese had offered choice of blue pill and red pill. Asad chose the red pill, while IK will now appoint someone who will choose the blue pill. Hope Rawalpindi gets some help going.

Salman said...

Yeh Umar ka resignation is a backward step. Lot of youth like myself had lot of trust and faith in Umar saheb now we are in danger zone as far as our economy and image. He was trying to make Pakistan strong inshallah so that we can stand on our feet and not be begging on other countries.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan #trade deficit at $23.67 billion, down 13% in 9 months of current FY19. #Exports up 0.11% to $17.08 billion. #Imports down by 7.96% to $40.75 billion. #Textile exports flat at $10 billion. #Petroleum imports #10.6 billion, up 3.81%.

Pakistan’s textile exports were recorded at $9.99 billion during nine months (July to March) of the ongoing fiscal year. The country’s textile exports had remained at the same level of previous year, showing no growth. The incumbent government had provided several incentives to the five exports oriented sectors including textile to enhance the country’s exports. The government had depreciated the currency and reduced the prices of electricity and gas but it failed to achieve the desired results.

The data released by PBS showed that country’s overall exports had increased by only 0.11 percent to $17.08 billion during July to March period of the year 2018-19. The major chunk of the overall exports is from the textile sector, which remained at $9.99 billion. Exports from all other sectors are only $7.09 billion during nine months of the ongoing fiscal year.

In textile sector, according to PBS, exports of knitwear had enhanced by 9.29 percent during July to March period of the year 2018-19 over a year ago. Similarly, exports of bed wear had also recorded an increase of 2.69 percent and exports of made-up articles had gone up by 1.26 percent. Meanwhile, exports of ready-made garments had also surged by 2.02 percent in first nine months of the current financial year. The PBS data showed that exports of cotton cloth had recorded a decline of 2.09 percent. Similarly, exports of raw cotton had tumbled by 71.84 percent. Exports of cotton yarn witnessed decrease of 15.44 percent. Meanwhile, exports of towels had declined by 1.85 percent.

Meanwhile, the exports of food commodities had recorded decrease of 2.4 percent during first nine months of the current fiscal year. In food commodities, exports of fruits recorded growth of 8.66 percent, vegetables exports declined by 2.48 percent and oil seeds, nuts and kernels exports had gone up by 117 percent. Similarly, the exports of petroleum group and coal had enhanced by 21.52 percent during July to March period of the ongoing fiscal year.


The country’s imports had gone down by 7.96 percent to $40.75 billion during the nine-month period (July-March 2018/19) over the same period of the last financial year.
The country spent $10.6 billion on the imports of petroleum group, 3.81 percent higher than a year ago. In the petroleum sector, the government imported petroleum products worth $4.62 billion and spent $3.38 million on petroleum crude. Similarly, the country imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) worth $2.4 million and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) worth $207 million.

The PBS data showed that country had spent $6.74 billion on importing machinery during July and March period of the ongoing fiscal year. The third biggest component was food commodities whose imports rose to $4.26 billion during first nine months of the ongoing financial year.

Trade deficit

The country’s trade deficit was recorded at $23.67 billion during nine months of the current financial year as against the deficit of $27.21 billion during corresponding period of the previous year. This depicts 13.02 percent or ($3.54 billion) reduction in the deficit.

Anonymous said...

Riazsir, IMF downgraded GDP growth next fiscal to 2.9! What can be done to improve it? Your comments appreciated. Thank You.

Studying BCom Economics

Anonymous said...

Pakistan macro-economic poor performance will lead to Bangladesh eclipsing Pakistan in PPP Per Capita much earlier now. Economists at IMF (Pak loan pending) estimate Pakistan PPP Per Capita in 2024 at $6735 and Bangladesh at $7372. India will be at $12757.

Also note that Bangladesh Per Capita Nominal edged ahead of Pakistan in 2018.

S Ghosh

Riaz Haq said...

#FDI in #Pakistan's #export industries #textile, #chemicals, #pharmaceuticals, and electrical #machinery up 50-800% but total FDI down 51% in first nine months of current fiscal 2018-19 due to outflow of #Chinese #investments from the local power sector

Pakistan’s ll major industrial sectors attracted considerably high foreign direct investments (FDI) during the current financial year indicating an attraction for industrial growth in near future.

The country’s key industries such as textile, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and electrical machinery saw their inflows jumping by 50-800 per cent.

However, the overall FDI plunged by 51pc during the first nine months of 2018-19 mainly due to outflow of Chinese investments from the local power sector, which in turn eroded the positive impact on inflows in the major industries. Outflow of Chinese investment during the period was $294 million, as compared to net inflow of $929m in same months of last fiscal year.

The highest inflows were recorded in electrical machinery, which attracted $126.6m during 9MFY19 as against $13.8m in corresponding period last year, reflecting an increase of 813pc.

Transport sector came in second as inflows into the sector jumped by 663pc to $84.3m, led by FDI worth $89.6m in cars whereas buses, trucks, vans and trails posted a $5.3m outflow.

Similarly, inflows in chemicals soared by 322pc to $113.9m during 9MFY19 versus $27.6m in same period of 207-18 while those in pharmaceutical rose 274pc to $55m from $14.7m.

The FDI in textile sector clocked in at $54m during the nine-month period, up 50pc over $36.6m in corresponding months of FY18. The sector earns over 60pc of all export proceeds for the country.

For the last couple of years, only two sectors – power and construction – have found themselves on the radar of investors while the rest have seen limited activity in terms of inflows. If latest data is to serve as an indicator for reversal, it could help boost sentiments in the local industry.

Power sector saw a steep decline in FDI as it recorded a net outflow of $293m in 9MFY19 as against $929m in corresponding period last year. Construction also seems to be ceding its gains with inflows shrinking steeply as investment in the sector slowed down to $385.4m, from $527m.

Communications saw a net outflow of $141m, led by telecommunications which recorded outflows worth $157m.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan agrees to 13th bailout in 30 years from the IMF

"Pakistan is facing a challenging economic environment, with lackluster growth, elevated inflation, high indebtedness, and a weak external position," IMF representative Ernesto Ramirez Rigo said in statement.
"This reflects the legacy of uneven and procyclical economic policies in recent years aiming to boost growth, but at the expense of rising vulnerabilities and lingering structural and institutional weaknesses. The authorities recognize the need to address these challenges, as well as to tackle the large informality in the economy, the low spending in human capital, and poverty."

Khan met with IMF director Christine Lagarde in February, as he sought to secure funding from the agency despite being a longterm critic of its previous dealings in Pakistan.
The IMF has been criticized in the past for imposing strict austerity on receiver nations, forcing governments to cut social programs and privatize national industries.
Khan has spoken of the need for a major anti-poverty program to boost Pakistan's economy and help its worst off citizens, but this will involve considerable spending that is typically antithetical to the conservative IMF.
These types of restrictions are one of the reasons Khan has been publicly attempting to avoid returning to the IMF to seek more funding. In October, Saudi Arabia agreed to advance Islamabad $6 billion in financial support. But that has not been enough to plug the gaps in Pakistan's economy -- issues Khan inherited and has been struggling to get under control.
The Pakistani Prime Minister has also turned to China for help. Beijing has invested heavily in the country under President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative.
"I can tell you one thing, the Chinese have been a breath of fresh air for us ... They have been extremely helpful to us," Khan said earlier this year.
China's increasing presence in Pakistan has not been without incident, however. On Sunday, militants attacked a five-star luxury hotel in Gwadar, in Balochistan province. The city is at the center of China's multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road infrastructure project.
Five people were killed in the attack, for which a Pakistani separatist group claimed responsibility, warning of more attacks in China and Pakistan in a post on an unverified Twitter account. CNN could not independently confirm whether the account, which claims to belong to the Baolchistan Liberation Army, is authentic.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan’s #exports increase by 7% as #production rose. Razzak Dawood said exports of #garments went up by 29%, #cement 25%, basmati #rice 21% and #footwear 26% in the current fiscal year. #Imports declined $4 billion.

Talking to Chairman Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company, Mian Kashif Ashfaq in Lahore, Razak Dawood said the trade gap is narrowing down as exports are showing steadying trajectory while imports have reduced by four billion dollars.

Chief Operating Officer FIEDMC Aamir Saleemi was also present on this occasion.

Terming the project of Allama Iqbal Industrial City imperative for industrial development in the country, the Adviser said projects like Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development & Management Company (FIEDMC), would help the industry generating economic activities by attracting foreign and local investors besides enhancing volume to exports to meet the challenges of trade deficit.

Razak Dawood said Pakistan’s exports went up by 7 per cent as production line had gone up despite difficult environment.

“The trade gap was narrowing down as exports were showing steadying trajectory while imports got reduced by $4 billion and overall current account deficit also improved,” he added.

He said that the situation on economic front was not as bad as being portrayed by some quarters and they were ready as well to correct things. However, he also conceded that the economic situation must have improved at much accelerated pace.

He said that the exports of garments went up by 29 per cent, cement 25 per cent, basmati rice 21 per cent and footwear 26 per cent in the current fiscal year.

Abdul Razak Dawood said that the government provided subsidy to export-oriented sector on electricity and gas and it would be continued in coming year.

FIEDMC Chief Mian Kashif Ashfaq unfolding the distinctive features of Allama Iqbal Industrial City to Advisor said this sole project would house as many as 400 industries besides giving employments to 2,500, 00 people. He said approximately Rs400 billion foreign and local investments would be pumped into this project and development project is being carried out on fast track.

He further said FIDEMC always provided state of the art facilities to its customers besides resolving their issues through one window operation on top priority basis. He said the confidence of the investors on is being restored after completion of M3 project.

Mian Kashif said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has changed the image of the country within a short span of time since he formed the government in August last year. “Pakistan which suffered huge economic losses during the last 20-years due to militancy and war against terror, has now come out as a progressive new country under Imran’s leadership,” he added.

He appreciated Abdul Razak Dawood for taking serious steps for the revival of national economy. He said Pakistan’s economic indicators are now improving and soon the government would announce relief packages for the poor strata of the society.

He also said FIEDMC was committed to improve Pakistan’s ease of doing business ranking to under 100 within two years to attract international investors to the country.

Meanwhile a well renowned personality of Maritime Sector Chairman Pakistan Ship’s Agents Association (PSAA), Vice President Pakistan Stevedores Conference Ltd (PSCL), and Former Vice President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & amp; Industry (FPCCI) Tariq Haleem says that the Pakistani nation, industrialists and the business community should not be disheartened.

Certain amendments in relevant SRO’s are required to make Gwadar Port and Gwadar Free Zone operational. Huge investment is pending due to delays in the amendments. Afghan Transit Trade issues need to be addressed to bring back our lost revenue generating cargoes.

Riaz Haq said...

#IMF package to bring $38 billion in loans to #Pakistan from other creditors. #Debt-servicing amounted to $9.5 billion during the last financial year and projected at $11.8 billion during the current fiscal year.

Pakistan on Thursday welcomed $6bn bailout package approved by the executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), saying it would lead to inflows of $38bn from other lenders in three years.

Read: IMF approves $6 billion loan for Pakistan

Speaking at a hurriedly called news conference, PM’s Adviser on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said the approval of 39-month reform programme by the IMF executive board without opposition from any member would provide stability to Pakistan. “The board has given us trust to prove ourselves good partners and deliver on reform promises,” he said.

He said this had improved the country’s standing and other institutions had also started extending their financial support. He said the Asian Development Bank would disburse about $2.1bn out of $3.4bn agreed funds to Pakistan this year and the World Bank had also agreed to additional assistance purely for budgetary support. Discussions with the World Bank were in progress for assistance only for the purpose of government expenditure, he said.

Giving a breakdown of $38bn expected financial support from lenders other than IMF, Dr Shaikh said about $8.7bn funds had been lined up against project loans, $4.2bn for programme loans, about $14bn of rollover loans and up to $8bn in commercial loans. He did not go into details and sources of these loans.

Responding to a question, he said Pakistan’s outflows for debt-servicing amounted to $9.5bn during the last financial year and projected at $11.8bn during the current fiscal year.

The adviser said there had been different exaggerations and unfair comments about IMF conditions while the government was in talks but it would also become clear as to what are the conditions when the IMF releases full details of the programme.

He said the government decision to enter into the IMF programme was a message to the world and other lending agencies that Pakistan was serious and ready to prove its responsibility towards managing expenditures, enhancing revenues and taking difficult decisions while protecting the vulnerable segments.

Dr Shaikh said there was also no condition or IMF demand in the programme about the privatisation as it would become clear from the documents to be released by the Fund. Instead Pakistan has to develop a comprehensive programme to decide which loss making entities could be improved and run in the public sector, which can be better run by the private sector and which require liquidation.

Pakistan has said this programme will be completed by September 2020, but there was also a possibility that we finalise the restructuring plan before this target. This is because these entities are a direct burden on the public finance and should be tackled at the earliest and if the Pakistan State Oil and Pakistan International Airlines are not being run in an efficient manner then this is not in the interest of our people.

The adviser said what should matter to all was that the IMF was an international institution from whom Pakistan could secure financial support and by taking benefit from this fiscal space set the stage for sustainable reforms in the long-term interest of the people and the country and ensure how to learn lesson from the past and not to repeat mistakes.

He said the government had given independence to the State Bank of Pakistan so that it emerged as a strong institution like others in the world.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan's current account #deficit shrinks by 32% year over year. It fell to $13.59 billion during the fiscal year-2018-19, down 32 per cent, from $19.90 billion in the same period last year. #PTI #ImranKhan #IMF #economy #debt

Owing to business friendly policies adopted by the incumbent government to boost exports, current account deficit fell by 32 per cent during the current fiscal year, ARY News reported.

The Statistics Division has reported that the current account deficit (CAD) fell to $13.59 bn during the fiscal year-2018-19, decreasing by 32 per cent, from $19.90 bn in the same period last year.

Earlier on June 16, Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh had said that due to effective measures taken by the government ,current account deficit had shirked to $7 billion during past few months.

Addressing a post budget conference, ‘Pakistan Back on Track’ in Islamabad, Hafeez Shaikh had said that the current government had inherited $20 bn current account deficit and it required 2000 billion rupees for debt servicing.

The advisor had said that the government was striving hard to overcome the fiscal and current account deficit to stabilize economy.

Riaz Haq said...

Revenue from oil, gas products rises by 44pc

The government is estimated to have collected almost 43.7 per cent higher revenue on key oil and gas products during the first half of this fiscal year than the same period last year despite over 10pc drop in domestic production and 20pc fall in imports, it emerged on Sunday.

Data released by the finance ministry puts the total revenue collection from seven important oil and gas products at Rs205bn in six months (July-December 2019) compared to Rs151bn of the same period in 2018, showing about 35pc increase. In addition, energy ministry officials put another Rs160bn collection as General Sales Tax (GST) on oil products in the first half of the current fiscal year compared to Rs103bn of the same period last year, showing an increase of over 55pc.

As the total revenue from only these eight heads amounted to Rs365bn in July-Dec 2019 compared to Rs254bn of July-Dec 2018, indicating an increase of about 43.7pc, the oil and gas sector is emerging as the single largest contributor to the country’s revenue stream.

Three major factors are estimated to have contributed to the surge in petroleum revenues including a substantial increase in various tax rates, removal of legal challenges and higher international prices.

These estimates do not include provincial tax collections through oil and gas and taxes arising out of value addition to oil products, for example the power generation that is almost 70 per cent dependant on furnace oil, liquefied natural gas and natural gas. Also, the revenue on sale of natural gas and LNG to consumers is also not part of these estimates.

According to the data released by the finance ministry, the collection of petroleum levy on various oil products increased by almost 69pc in six months during the current fiscal year than the first half of last year, as the government collected Rs138bn in July-Dec 2019 compared to Rs82bn in July-Dec 2018. Likewise, the natural gas development surcharge also increased by 51pc to Rs4.6bn in six months this year compared to Rs3.037bn last year.

However, the government reduced the gas infrastructure development cess (GIDC) by about 56pc. The GIDC collection thus dropped from Rs11.45bn during the six months of last fiscal year to as low as Rs5.03bn during the first half of this financial year.

The government collected about Rs44bn worth of royalty on oil and gas during six months of current fiscal year, showing an increase of about 5.3pc over Rs41.8bn of same period last year. Similarly, discount retained oil and gas in first half of current year contributed about Rs7.2bn to the national exchequer when compared to Rs6.5bn of same period last year, up 11pc.

This was despite the fact that production of petroleum products in the first half of the current year dropped by 10.33pc to about 6.8bn litres when compared to about 7.6bn litres of the same period last year, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). The bureau reported that production of two major projects — petrol and high speed diesel — dropped by about 9pc and 10pc respectively — a sign of slower economic activities in the country.

Also, the PBS reported about 20pc reduction in oil imports during the first half of the fiscal year in dollar terms and about 2.75pc fall in value of Pakistani rupee. The total oil import bill has dropped from $7.66bn in July-Dec 2018 to $6.14bn in July-Dec 2019.

The import value of petroleum products dropped from $3.4bn to $2.59bn during the period under review, showing a 24pc drop. The value of crude imports also fell by 27pc to $1.77bn in the first half of the current fiscal year when compared to $2.43bn of the same period of last financial year.

The imports of petroleum products and crude oil in terms of quantities also reduced by 13pc and 14pc, respectively, during the first six months of this fiscal year.

Riaz Haq said...

THE (PTI) government’s plan to settle the outstanding dues of IPPs amounting to Rs450bn in three tranches is only the first step towards liquidation of the power sector’s circular debt. According to reports, the IPPs will get 30pc of their existing debt stock this month and the remaining amount in two equal tranches in June and December. Under the plan, one-third of the arrears will be paid to the power producers in cash and the remainder in the form of Pakistan Investment Bonds at the floating rate. The IMF also gave its nod to the plan after the government agreed to heftily increase the base electricity tariff as demanded by the lender of the last resort. The payment of the first tranche will immediately lead to materialisation of the MoUs signed between the government and power producers in August last year into formal agreements. The MoUs provide for changes in the terms of the existing power purchase agreements that will reduce the size of the guaranteed capacity payments or fixed costs paid to the IPPs, a major source of accumulation of the circular debt. The government is expecting savings of Rs850bn over a period of 10 years, following the modifications in PPAs. The IPPs, which had demanded full payment of their money before they agreed to implement their revised PPAs, seem to have moved away from their earlier position in the ‘larger interest of the country’ as the plan will also help them improve their tight liquidity position and make new investments in new schemes.

The settlement scheme covers the 50-odd IPPs which were set up in the 1990s and 2000s and had consented to the alterations proposed in their power purchase deals with the government. The majority of these plants have completed their life cycles or paid off their debts. Therefore, we should not expect an immediate resolution of the circular debt problem even after materialisation of the revised deals with the IPPs. In recent years, the major build-up in the circular debt has been caused by capacity payments to large power projects set up since 2015, primarily as part of the multibillion-dollar CPEC initiative, with Chinese money. So far, no progress has been made to get the terms of the PPAs with these companies renegotiated although we are told that contacts have been made with Beijing at the highest level. Until these contacts pay off, the resolution of the mounting power-sector debt will have to wait.

Riaz Haq said...


"Our growth model is based on import substitution. Richest ppl get loans to kickstart manufacturing at subsidized rates. This fuels import driven consumption from cars to machinery. It's not a competitive model. We fall in elite capture. 1/n


"When we slowdown the economy, the middle class & poor segments get hit the most. The protection amount is almost equal to value addition. No reason to become efficient.

We need to think abt exports, education & building the #Pakistan brand."


"We need to introspect what is wrong with us as an individual. Do the religious minorities feel safe in Pakistan or are ready to move to Canada on the first opportunity.We need to do 4 things

1) Focus on exports
2) Improve agri sector. We import $2b cotton,$1b pulses. Our agri..


productivity is lower than the world in everything yet we call ourselves agri country.

3) We need to live within our means.
4) Educate our children. Most important job is parenting. 2 schools Aitchison & KGS account for all Ministers etc. There's no social mobility in Pak.


"1/3 of #Pakistan is under water. Many have lost everything they had. Yet the nation moves on. We are resilient. But I don't want us to just be resilient. I want Pakistan to be richer, not be hungry & more educated."