Thursday, 12 September 2013

Government to take decision on PIA | Government borrows Rs 600 billion | Services trade deficit falls by 42 percent

Government to take decision on PIA's future today
Karachi Stock Exchange: The  government  would  decide  about  the  future  of  Pakistan  International Airlines (PIA)  in the light of a  presentation by the management of  national flag carrier to the Prime Minister today. The management of the PIA would be  presenting  various  options  to  the  Prime  Minister.  These  include  a  plan aimed at reducing the losses of national flag carrier by Rs 400 million to Rs 500  million  by  the  end  of  December  2013  and  then  to  achieve  the  break even in a year's time if everything goes according to the plan. They said that the PIA has been incurring around 3 billion losses which would be reduced to  Rs  2.5  billion  by  the  end-December  2013.  Addition  of  some  new  planes  to  the  fleet  would  also  help  achieve  fuel  efficiency. Management plan involves considerable reduction in losses by operating flights on profitable routes, inducting new planes and by checking pilferage in ticketing and catering. The Prime Minister would decide whether it should give the PIA business plan a chance or privatize it.

Government borrows Rs 600 billion in two months
Karachi Stock Exchange: A shortfall in the revenue collection has resulted in massive government borrowing from domestic banking sector  particularly  the State Bank Of Pakistan (SBP). The federal government's borrowing  for budgetary  support from  the central bank has crossed Rs 600  billion mark in first two months of the current fiscal year. Massive borrowing from the banking system clearly reflects that the government is still facing financial difficulties, despite taking several measures to increase its revenue collection and curtail the rising  expenditures.  The  government  had  increased General  Sales  Tax  (GST)  from  16  percent  to  17  percent  in  the  Budget 2014 to enhance its income. In addition, the government has increased power and gas tariff to reduce the burden of subsidies, however, the government steps for the higher revenue generation seems to have failed as the budgetary borrowing is continuously  increasing,  they  pointed out. They said borrowing  of  Rs  500  billion to  the  power sector  to  settle the  circular debt issue is also a reason for higher borrowing during this fiscal year. According to the State Bank of Pakistan the federal government's borrowing  for budgetary support has registered  a notable increase  during two months of current fiscal year (FY14). The federal government budgetary borrowing rose to Rs 637 billion in July-August of FY14 against retirement of Rs 78.393 billion in the same period of last fiscal year.

Services trade deficit falls by 42 percent
Karachi Stock Exchange: Pakistani international services trade deficit stood at $159 million during July 2013 against $274.82 million recorded in the corresponding month last year, representing a decline of 42.16 percent. During the month under review, the economy hired foreign  companies’  services  worth  $543.88  million  while  selling  services abroad  worth  $384.92  million.  The  country’s  services exports (money inflow) stood at $342.89 million and imports (outflow) at $617.71 million in same month last year, representing an increase of 12.26 percent in exports and 11.95 percent decline in imports of the country services, according to the Pakistan’s Bureau of Statistics (PBS). During July 2013, services exports declined by 20 percent and imports by 9.37 percent  when  compared  to  the  previous  month.  During  June  2013,  exports  stood  at  $481.34  million  and  imports  at  $600.12 million. The country is not expected to reverse or break-even in the services trade in the short-term given the comparatively backward services industry. Pakistan’s soaring need for foreign transport, insurance and consultancy services as well as increased expenditure on financial services will also likely contribute to the expected hike in the deficit. Pakistan’s trade deficit fell by 3.07 percent for the first two months of the fiscal year 2013/14.

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