PIA suffers PKR 38b loss in first 3-month of 2023
The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) suffered a loss of Rs38 billion in the first three months of this year – 171 percent more than the last one.
The National carrier’s financial results for the first three months of the year 2023 have been disclosed.
The PIA’s financial report has revealed that the national carrier’s loss was 171 percent times higher in the first three months of this year against the same period in 2022.
The Magnitude of this loss is around Rs38 billion.
During the first three months of the ongoing year, the national carrier only managed to earn Rs61 billion.
The PIA suffered a loss of Rs21 billion because of the appreciation of the dollar against the rupee.
Pakistan keen to cut a ‘new’ IMF contract
Amid a stalemate on securing a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has informed fund’s Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva about Pakistan’s intention to secure a new bailout.
Moreover, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha on Wednesday criticised IMF mission chief Nathan Porter’s comment on the country’s political situation, saying he should not “interfere in politically domestic” matters.
Sources told that the prime minister had revealed Pakistan’s intentions to sign a follow-up bailout package during his telephonic conversation with the IMF managing director on the weekend.
Pakistan’s current $6.5 billion programme stood derailed and the efforts being made to revive it for the past seven months could not materialize. The programme is going to expire on June 30.
PKR recovers sharply in open-market trade against USD
Pakistani currency made a remarkable recovery of almost 5.5 percent, or Rs16, in a single day to a one-week high at Rs295 against the US dollar in the open market at around midday on Thursday.
The currency had closed at Rs311 against the greenback on Wednesday, according to the Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan (ECAP).
Accordingly, the gap in the rupee-dollar exchange rate between interbank and open markets narrowed down to about Rs10 compared to around Rs27 a day ago.
In the interbank market, the currency has continued to stabilise around Rs285/$ for the past couple of weeks.
ECNEC approves PKR 1.2tr development projects
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Wednesday gave its approval to a comprehensive package of development projects amounting to over Rs1.2 trillion on Wednesday.
During the meeting chaired by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, one of the major projects endorsed was the 48-megawatt Shunter Hydropower Project in the Neelum Valley, which received the go-ahead from the government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
Valued at Rs14.98 billion, the project will receive Rs12.7369 billion (85 percent of the total cost) in funding from the Saudi Fund for Development. The remaining 15 percent will be financed through the annual development plan of the Government of AJK.
Additionally, the ECNEC approved the establishment of regional grids in the districts of Astor, Gilgit, Hunza, and Skardu in Gilgit-Baltistan Phase-I, as proposed by the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and GB. The project, estimated to cost Rs17.42 billion, will involve foreign funding of Rs1.824 billion, subject to revision based on bid, construction, and engineering estimates by the Ministry of Planning.
PM: public relief a top priority in budget
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, on Tuesday, emphasised that providing maximum relief to the public and fostering economic development are key priorities for the federal government in the upcoming budget for fiscal year 2023-24.
Chairing a meeting to discuss budget proposals for the industrial sector, the PM stated that the federal budget would include measures to enhance industrial growth and boost exports. He personally assured that the proposals from the industrial sector would be incorporated into the budget.
The PM directed the relevant authorities to eliminate unnecessary obstacles hindering the growth of small, medium, and large-scale industrial production. He also highlighted that the previous government deliberately impeded investment and industrial development in the country.
Exporters struggle with refund procedure
Textile exporters are expressing growing concerns over the prolonged refund process of banks for marked lien amounts, resulting in significant exchange losses for them.
Towel Manufacturers Association of Pakistan (TMAP), Senior Vice Chairman, Syed Usman Ali voiced his distress regarding the implementation of the State Bank of Pakistan’s FE Circular No 02 of 2023, which became effective on May 1, 2023.
“The exporter’s amount, if realised even a single day late from the due date, the bank marks it as lien on the export proceeds. Interestingly, most banks are unaware of the further procedure to return these amounts to the exporters,” he stated.
“A lien is a legal right to retain possession of someone else’s property until a debt owed by that person is fully paid off. Banks mark the received amount from exporters as lien, allowing them to utilise it for future Letter of Credits (LCs),” explained textile sector analyst Nasheed Malik whilst speaking to source.
Ishaq defends policy to curb imports
As an official report sees no decline in inflation and tough economic conditions, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Tuesday that his choice was restricted to curbing imports for saving forex reserves and timely repayment of foreign debt.
Dar spoke about his limited options the day the Ministry of Finance released its monthly economic outlook, which stated that inflationary pressures continued in May and inflation may remain in the range of 34-36 percent.
Speaking to a delegation of business community, the finance minister defended his decision to reduce imports, which not only grounded the economy but also contributed to high inflation.