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A budget deficit of 3.8 percent or Rs1,687 billion has been recorded during the first nine months of the current fiscal year, July-March 2019-2020, ahead of corona pandemic expenditure and ramifications of lockdown on the revenue and economy of the country. On Wednesday, the Finance Ministry uploaded consolidated fiscal operation for July-March2019-2020, revealing highest spending on debt servicing and very little on social protection. The government raised Rs391.3 billion through the auction of treasury bills on Wednesday, reported the latest State Bank of Pakistan data. The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Wednesday expressed concerns over slow procurement of wheat by the public sector and set in motion shifting of over Rs800 billion power sector circular debt to public debt to honour commitments with the international lending agencies.

Market View: The KSE100 Index was down by 264.57 points yesterday, ending the session at 33,728.18 points. We believe that the market may remain range-bound today, with talks of the lockdown being lifted. The Asian markets are flat this morning, which could be mimicked in the Pakistani Market today. 

Commodities:

Brent oil (USD/bbl): 29.78 (+0.20% D/D)
Crude oil (USD/bbl): 24.00 (+0.04% D/D)
Gold (USD/oz): 1,695.50 (+0.4146% D/D)

National News

3.8pc budget deficit witnessed in 9 months

A budget deficit of 3.8 percent or Rs1,687 billion has been recorded during the first nine months of the current fiscal year, July-March 2019-2020, ahead of corona pandemic expenditure and ramifications of lockdown on the revenue and economy of the country. On Wednesday, the Finance Ministry uploaded consolidated fiscal operation for July-March2019-2020, revealing highest spending on debt servicing and very little on social protection.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/05/07/1-page/836139-news.html

Rs391bn raised through T-bills

The government raised Rs391.3 billion through the auction of treasury bills on Wednesday, reported the latest State Bank of Pakistan data

https://www.dawn.com/news/1555205/rs391bn-raised-through-t-bills

Amendments to restrict forex outflow from insurance sector

 The Secu­rities and Exchange Com­mission of Pakistan (SECP) on Wednesday proposed amen­­dments to the Credit & Suretyship (Conduct of Business) Rules, 2018 for the insurance sector to restrict the outflow of money for reinsurance.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1555207/amendments-to-restrict-forex-outflow-from-insurance-sector

Pakistan may miss wheat targets in ongoing season

Pakistan has yet to fully recover from the wheat and flour crisis and a similar scandal is feared to occur again early next year as the government may miss the production and procurement targets of the grain in the ongoing harvesting season.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2215788/2-pakistan-may-miss-wheat-targets-ongoing-season/

‘Retailers must list sales tax on price tags separately’

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Wednesday made it binding on all registered retailers to show price and tax separately on the price tags and menu cards to ensure depositing of deducted tax in government kitty.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1555203/retailers-must-list-sales-tax-on-price-tags-separately

Govt moves to take over Rs800bn power sector circular debt

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Wednesday expressed concerns over slow procurement of wheat by the public sector and set in motion shifting of over Rs800 billion power sector circular debt to public debt to honour commitments with the international lending agencies.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1555209/govt-moves-to-take-over-rs800bn-power-sector-circular-debt

In Pakistan, terminal operators refuse to extend free-storage period to importers

Despite orders from the maritime affairs minister and the cabinet, in the backdrop of Covid-19, to allow 15 days of free storage to importers of all cargo, the terminal operators are adamant to provide relief for only five days.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2215741/2-pakistan-terminal-operators-refuse-extend-free-storage-period-importers/

Sugar commission has actionable evidence to proceed against millers

The Sugar Inquiry Commission is said to have collected 60 percent actionable evidence to further proceed against the sugar millers involved in illegal activity, well-informed sources told Business Recorder.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/05/07/1-page/836132-news.html

Risk-sharing facility for salary refinance scheme: Govt to share burden of losses of banks

In order to incentivize banks for financing SMEs and small corporate entities under the “SBP Refinance Scheme to Support Employment and Prevent Layoff of Workers”, the federal government has introduced a risk-sharing mechanism and allocated Rs30 billion under a credit risk sharing facility for the banks to share the burden of losses due to any bad loans in future.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/05/07/1-page/836133-news.html

MoC drafts STP Framework 2020-25

Ministry of Commerce (MoC) has drafted Strategic Trade Policy Framework 2020-25, on the basis of guiding principle of no element of any duties and taxes on exports, sources close to Prime Minister Advisor on Commerce and Investment told Business Recorder.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/05/07/1-page/836138-news.html

Cement dispatches decline by 23.65pc in April

Cement dispatches in the country have declined in April 2020 by 23.65 percent to 3.52 million tons from 4.61 million tons in April 2019 as both exports and domestic markets crashed owing to the devastating impact of COVID-19.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/05/07/7-page/836189-news.html

CCoP submits report to Ishrat: Action plan for tackling cartelization, abusive business practices

A report submitted by the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) to Dr Ishrat Hussain, Advisor to the Prime Minister for Institutional Reforms and Austerity, has set out a dynamic action plan for the CCP to be implemented between 2020-2023 for tackling cartelization and abusive business practices in the economy.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/05/07/16-page/836248-news.html

Easing lockdown: Opening of shops, domestic flights recommended

In an inter-provincial education ministers’ conference on Wednesday, Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan opposed the reopening of educational institutions after June 1.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/654988-easing-lockdown-opening-of-shops-domestic-flights-recommended

International News

Oil gains as US inventories grow less than feared while coronavirus slashes demand

Oil prices rose on Thursday after U.S. inventories swelled less than expected, but market watchers predicted further gains could be capped by the ongoing glut in crude supplies as the coronavirus pandemic crushes fuel demand.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/07/oil-markets-us-crude-inventories-coronavirus-crude-output-in-focus.html

Asia stocks little changed; China’s services sector in April slumps

Stocks in Asia Pacific were little changed in Thursday morning trade as a private survey showed China’s services sector slumping in April.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/07/asia-markets-caixin-services-pmi-coronavirus-oil-currencies-in-focus.html

Gold rises on poor economic data, US jobless claims report in focus

Gold rose on Thursday after a 1% drop in the previous session as grim U.S. economic data underscored the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, while investors awaited the weekly jobless claims report from the world’s largest economy.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/07/gold-markets-us-economic-data-coronavirus-in-focus.html

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Daily news: 07th May 2020

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