Good Morning

Pakistan is facing the worst economic conditions in its history — a negative economic growth at 1.57 per cent and a fiscal deficit of 9.6pc — during the current fiscal year owing to economic losses in the aftermath of coronavirus pandemic. Estimating a shortfall of about 16 per cent against the target for the current financial year, the government has decided to facilitate remittances from overseas Pakistanis through tax exemptions and other incentives under a special loyalty programme with effect from the start of next fiscal year. The finance ministry has indicated an allocation Rs600 billion for the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the next budget that will keep the planning ministry walking a tightrope to meet the financing needs of ongoing projects as well as funding the new initiatives. The federal cabinet on Tuesday banned exports of all edible items to ensure adequate food supply to the local market during the countrywide lockdown due to coronavirus and gave additional three weeks to an inquiry commission conducting the forensic audit of recent sugar and wheat scams.

Market View: The KSE100 Index gained 238.82 points during yesterday’s trading session. We expect the market to remain stable and range bound in the upcoming session.

Commodities:

Brent oil (USD/bbl): 21.13 (+3.27% D/D)
Crude oil (USD/bbl): 13.88 (+12.48% D/D)
Gold (USD/oz): 1,725.60 (+0.20% D/D)

National News

Economy will need ‘reset and reboot’ after recession

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is facing the worst economic conditions in its history — a negative economic growth at 1.57 per cent and a fiscal deficit of 9.6pc — during the current fiscal year owing to economic losses in the aftermath of coronavirus pandemic.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1553082/economy-will-need-reset-and-reboot-after-recession

Govt to facilitate remittances through tax exemptions

ISLAMABAD: Estimating a shortfall of about 16 per cent against the target for the current financial year, the government has decided to facilitate remittances from overseas Pakistanis through tax exemptions and other incentives under a special loyalty programme with effect from the start of next fiscal year.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1553085/govt-to-facilitate-remittances-through-tax-exemptions

Cabinet bans export of all edible items

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet on Tuesday banned exports of all edible items to ensure adequate food supply to the local market during the countrywide lockdown due to coronavirus and gave additional three weeks to an inquiry commission conducting the forensic audit of recent sugar and wheat scams.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1553088/cabinet-bans-export-of-all-edible-items

Privatisation plan underway despite virus-led uncertainty

ISLAMABAD: Proposed privatisation of Pakistan Steel Mills, RLNG power plants, and Heavy Electrical Complex have entered the advance stages after the government received drafts of due diligence from financial advisers appointed for the divestment from the state-owned entities.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/651311-privatisation-plan-underway-despite-virus-led-uncertainty

Finance ministry plans Rs600b PSDP for next fiscal

ISLAMABAD: The finance ministry has indicated an allocation Rs600 billion for the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the next budget that will keep the planning ministry walking a tightrope to meet the financing needs of ongoing projects as well as funding the new initiatives.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2209362/2-finance-ministry-plans-rs600b-psdp-next-fiscal/

Good news for power consumers from May 1: Hafeez Shaikh

ISLAMABAD: Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh Tuesday said the government would pass on the benefit of reduced oil prices in the international market to the public and people would hear good news in this regard on May 1.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/651518-good-news-for-power-consumers-from-may-1-hafeez-shaikh

NTC tasked to devise uniform taxation policies

ISLAMABAD: The establishment of National Tax Council (NTC), which is being delayed to become fully functional due to coronavirus outbreak, has been mandated for harmonisation of GST on both goods and services among the Centre and the provinces from upcoming budget.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/651433-ntc-tasked-to-devise-uniform-taxation-policies

Corona targets FBR, collection to take a hit

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), which has been struggling to achieve the revenue target for FY20, is now faced with a new problem, as the department has observed positive cases of COVID-19 in different formations. Meanwhile, the FBR has estimated that April’s collection target would be missed by Rs200 billion.

ADB to provide $15m concessional loan for urban development in Punjab

ISLAMABAD: Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide Pakistan with a concessional loan worth $15 million for urban development projects in Punjab.

Money supply rises to 8.49pc in more than nine months

KARACHI: Pakistan’s money supply surged to 8.49 percent in more than nine months of the current fiscal year from 3.24 percent a year ago, the central bank data showed on Tuesday, mainly on the back of government refinance scheme.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/651313-money-supply-rises-to-8-49pc-in-more-than-nine-months

PM approves ‘Green Stimulus’ package to boost greenery, employment

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday approved the “Green Stimulus” package as part of the government’s efforts to extend green cover in the county and to create job opportunities for the youth especially in the wake of COVID-19 crisis.

Farmers to be compensated for damage to crops: Speaker NA

ISLAMABAD: Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser has expressed anguish over damage to the crops of farmers in Swabi and different areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to severe hailstorm. He said the farmers who suffered losses would be compensated after gathering of details from the district administration.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/29/592967/farmers-to-be-compensated-for-damage-to-crops-speaker-na/

Sugar probe body gets three more weeks to submit report

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet on Tuesday granted three more weeks to the inquiry commission for submitting its forensic report on the recent sugar crisis in the country.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2209471/1-sugar-probe-body-gets-three-weeks-submit-report/

International News

States ease restrictions as US nears one million virus cases

WASHINGTON: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases neared one million in the United States on Tuesday and the projected death toll rose in a closely watched academic model, even as some states eased restrictions aimed at fighting the pandemic battering the economy.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1553047/states-ease-restrictions-as-us-nears-one-million-virus-cases

Oil drops 3% in volatile session as storage capacity fears and weak demand weigh

Oil alternated between gains and losses in a volatile trading session that at one point saw U.S. crude drop more than 20%. Traders continue to eye dwindling storage capacity worldwide, although some of the losses were offset by optimism around reopening of economies.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/27/oil-news-wti-crude-brent-prices-today.html

Gold ticks up on weaker dollar; Fed decision awaited

Gold prices inched higher on Wednesday as the dollar weakened amid plans to ease major economies out of coronavirus lockdowns, while investors awaited any forward guidance from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy statement due later in the day.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/29/gold-markets-us-dollar-federal-reserve-in-focus.html