Reserve Bank of India - Weekly Statistical Supplement
Reserve Bank of India - Weekly Statistical Supplement
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India’s rising Forex Reserves – Civilsdaily
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2 years of PTI with the economy
As PTI comes onto two years, I felt like making this post on account of seeing multiple people supporting PML-N for having an allegedly better economy for Pakistan, particularly with allegations present that PTI has done nothing for the economy. So here's a short list of some major achievements done by PTI in contrast to PML-N.
Stopping Pakistan from defaulting: The move to devalue the rupee was one done despite knowing the backlash that would be faced. Under Nawaz Sharif the rupee was artificially overvalued through loans and forex reserves, this meant Pakistan had no sustainable way for repaying those massive loans. Imran Khan on the other hand had to approach the IMF due to these overlaying maturing debts, lack of growth in exports under PMLN, decline in Foreign Direct Investment and an ever higher import bill. This was done at the cost of letting the rupee massively devalue against the dollar, however paved the path for economic stability as noted by the IMF.
Renewed focus on taxation: Easily the most controversial facet of the economic policy by PTI, but one that has shown merit and results. Overall, there has been a 40% increase in returns filers and a 17% revenue increase. This coupled with a massive austerity scheme, meant that the government has started an incline towards increasing it's revenues. While this hasn't been met with open arms, it presents a solution to the everpresent crisis that the Pakistan government has faced, in it's inability to increase it's revenues. Not only that, but the general taxation system was streamlined, making it easier for individuals to file taxes. Introductions of new apps and consolidating activities for the FBR were among the efforts as well. Moreover, businesses that were entitled to tax refunds are finally being granted them, under PMLN they were held onto so as to inflate collection numbers, however under PTI that has changed and it's not inflated. It is worth noting, that because of the covid-19 pandemic, the effect of the austerity schemes and feasibility have seriously dampened, and it's created a bigger problem for increasing revenue collection.
It is worth noting, that some may criticise the overall decrease in the account deficit to be a result of the decrease in imports, and the increase in worker remittances, however this was indeed a result of the overall economic impact from the covid-19 pandemic. And that general trends support the notion of exports increasing and the account deficit decreasing in the second quarter of 2019.
Tourism: The reforms and measures taken to facilitate tourism in Pakistan were evidently among the most successful — Pakistan went from being sidelined to being amongst the worlds top destinations to visit. There were multiple reasons for this, the removal of the mandatory NOC, the initiative for online visas for upto 175 countries alongside visa-on-arrival for 50 countries were among the facilitating measures taken for tourism.
Foreign Direct Investment: What can be appreciated is the general reception of Pakistan's economic outlook, where FDI climbed by upto 137% within this fiscal year, gathering upto nearly $2.1 billion. Yet, once again — the pandemic will undoubtedly cause most countries to rethink their economic policies for now, and the overall FDI might see a downward trend with regards to global decrease in FDI. Despite, the increases in FDI are welcomed, especially considering total foreign investment rose 380 percent to $2.375 billion in July-March FY2020. Yet the sustainability of this remains to be seen.
Dealing with covid: Despite all odds, Pakistan has somehow managed to deal well with the pandemic. Coming out relatively alright, in perspective of countries such as India, Mexico, Italy, Brazil etc. The factor that plays out, is that despite being incredibly vulnerable, the country managed to pull through and has markedly reduced the impact of the virus. With regards to the economy, taking a bold risk of abating a complete lockdown, whilst met with criticism was once again a factor that showed competency. Keeping in mind that 51 million Pakistanis lived below the poverty line, and the adverse effect it would have on the economy. Pakistan managed to come through the economic contraction with only a -0.38% growth. Although the full effects are still not abated or understood, what's commendable is the fact that Pakistan under PTI has kept itself from an even worse situation. Whilst managing to keep covid under relative control. Especially given increases in exports despite the pandemic in countries such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Italy.
This is by no means a highly comprehensive list, just my opinion on some of the bigger achievements; saving the economy from defaulting, adopting tax reforms, tourism reforms, export reforms among them whilst managing covid and economic stability with relative success. There are of course a multitude of other factors, successfully avoiding a blacklist from the FATF, macroeconomic reforms, attempts to strengthen the working class; ehsaas programs, Naya Pakistan housing schemes alongside other relief efforts. These are measures in accordance with curtailing the effect of increasing taxation and attempts to abate the economic slowdown that came as a result of forcing an increase in government revenue. Alongside the focus on multiple new hydroelectric dams, industrial cities, reduction of the PM office staff from 552 to 298, 10 billion tree project and an overall renewed interest in renewable energy and green Pakistan. The list is comprehensive. Pakistan remains on a rocky path, it is not out of the woods yet. Covid-19 has seriously hampered the overall projections, and caused a worldwide economic contraction. Not only that, but there are criticisms that can be attributed to the government as well, as they are not without fault. However, the overall achievements of the government with regards to the economy do present hope for the long-term fiscal policy and development of Pakistan.
RBI & how its policies can start to affect the market
Disclaimer: This DD is to help start forming a market view as per RBI announcements. Also a gentle reminder that fundamentals play out over a longer time frame than intraday. The authors take no responsiblity for your yolos. With contributions by Asli Bakchodi, Bran OP & dragononweed! What is the RBI? RBI is the central bank of India. They are one of the key players who affect India’s economic trajectory. They control currency supply, banking rules and more. This means that it is not a bank in which retailers or corporates can open an account with. Instead they are a bank for bankers and the Government of India. Their functions can be broadly classified into 6. · Monetary authority · Financial supervisor for financial system · Issuer of currency · Manages Foreign exchange · Bankers bank · Banker to the government This DD will take a look at each of these functions. It will be followed by a list of rates the RBI sets, and how changes in them can affect the market. 1.Monetary Authority One of RBI’s functions is to achieve the goal of “Price Stability” in the economy. This essentially means achieving an inflation rate that is within a desired limit. A monetary policy committee (MPC) decides on the desired inflation rate and its limits through majority vote of its 6 members, in consultation with the GoI. The current inflation target for RBI is as follows Consumer Price Inflation (CPI): 4% Upper Limit: 6% Lower Limit: 2% An increase in CPI means less purchasing power. Generally speaking, if inflation is too high, the public starts cutting down on spending, leading to a negative impact on the markets. And vice versa. Lower inflation leads to more purchasing power, more spending, more investments leading to a positive impact on the market. 2.Financial Supervisor For Financial System A financial system consists of financial markets (Capital market, money market, forex market etc.), financial institutions (banks, stock exchanges, NBFC etc) & financial assets (currencies, bills, bonds etc) RBI supervises this entire system and lays down the rules and regulations for it. It can also use further ‘Selective Credit Controls’ to regulate banks. 3.Issues of currency The RBI is responsible for the printing of currency notes. RBI is free to print as much as it wants as long as the minimum reserve of Rs 200 Cr (Gold 112 Cr) is maintained. The RBI has total assets or a balance size sheet of Rs. 51 trillion (April 2020). (1 Trillion = 1 Lakh crore) India’s current reserves mean our increase in currency circulation is well managed. 4.Manages Foreign Exchange RBI regulates all of India’s foreign exchange transactions. It is the custodian of all of foreign currencies in India. It allows for the foreign exchange value of the rupee to be controlled. RBI also buy and sell rupees in the foreign exchange market at its discretion. In case of any currency movement, a country’s central bank can directly intervene to either push the currency up, as India has been doing, or to keep it artificially low, as the Chinese central bank does. To push up a currency, a central bank can sell dollars, which is the global reserve currency, or the currency against which all others are measured. To push down a currency, a central bank can buy dollars. The RBI deciding this depends on the import/export and financial health of the country. Generally a weaker rupee means imports are more expensive, but are favourable for exports. And a stronger rupee means imports are cheaper but are unfavourable for exports. A weaker rupee can make foreign investment more lucrative driving up FII. A stronger rupee can have an adverse effect of FII investing in markets. 5.Banker’s Bank Every bank has to maintain a certain amount of reserve with the RBI. A certain percentage of a bank’s liabilities (anywhere between 3-15% as decided by RBI) has to be maintained in this account. This is called the Cash Reserve Ratio. This is determined by the MPC during the monetary policy review (which happens every six weeks at present). It lends money from this reserve to other banks if they are short on cash, but generally, it is seen as a last resort move. Banks are encouraged to meet their shortfalls of cash from other resources. 6.Banker to the government RBI is the entity that carries out ALL monetary transactions on behalf of the Government. It holds custody of the cash balance of the Government, gives temporary loans to both central and state governments and manages the debt operations of the central Government, through instruments of debt and the interest rates associated with them - like bonds. The different rates set & managed by RBI - Repo rate The rate at which RBI is willing to lend to commercial banks is called as Repo Rate. Banks sometimes need money for emergency or to maintain the SLR and CRR (explained below). They borrow this from RBI but have to pay some interest on it. The interest that is to be paid on the amount to the RBI is called as Repo Rate. It does not function like a normal loan but acts like a forward contract. Banks have to provide collateral like government bonds, T-bills etc. Repo means Repurchase Option is the true meaning of Repo an agreement where the bank promises to repurchase these government securities after the repo period is over. As a tool to control inflation, RBI increases the Repo Rate making it more expensive for banks to borrow from the RBI with a view to restrict availability of money. Exact opposite stance shall be taken in case of deflationary environment. The change of repo rate is aimed to affect the flow of money in the economy. An increase in repo rate decreases the flow of money in the economy, while the decrease in repo rate increases the flow of money in the economy. RBI by changing these rates shows its stance to the economy at large whether they prioritize growth or inflation. - Reverse Repo Rate The rate at which the RBI is willing to borrow from the Banks is called as Reverse Repo Rate. If the RBI increases the reverse repo rate, it means that the RBI is willing to offer lucrative interest rate to banks to park their money with the RBI. Banks in this case agree to resell government securities after reverse repo period. Generally, an increase in reverse repo rate that banks will have a higher incentive to park their money with RBI. It decreases liquidity, affecting the market in a negative manner. Decrease in reverse repo rate increases liquidity affecting the market in a positive manner. Both the repo rate and reverse repo rate fall under the Liquidity Adjustment Facility tools for RBI. - Cash reserve ratio (CRR) Banks in India are required to deposit a specific percentage of their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) in the form of CASH with the RBI. This minimum ratio (that is the part of the total deposits to be held as cash) is stipulated by the RBI and is known as the CRR or Cash Reserve Ratio. These reserves will not be in circulation at any point in time. For example, if a bank had a NDTL (like current Account, Savings Account and Fixed Deposits) of 100Cr and the CRR is at 3%, it would have to keep 3Cr as Cash reserve ratio to the RBI. This amount earns no interest. Currently it is at 3%. A lower cash ratio means banks can deposit just a lower amount and use the remaining money leading to higher liquidity. This translates to more money to invest which is seen as positive for the market. Inversely, a higher cash ratio equates to lower liquidity which translates to a negative market sentiment. Thus, the RBI uses the CRR to control excess money flow and regulate liquidity in the economy. - Statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) Banks in India have to keep a certain percentage of their net demand and time liabilities WITH THEMSELVES. And this can be in the form of liquid assets like gold and government securities, not just cash. A lot of banks keep them in government bonds as they give a decent interest. The current SLR ratio of 18.25%, which means that for every Rs.100 deposited in a bank, it has to invest Rs.18.50 in any of the asset classes approved by RBI. A low SLR means higher levels of loans to the private sector. This boosts investment and acts as a positive sentiment for the market. Conversely a high SLR means tighter levels of credit and can cause a negative effect on the market. Essentially, the RBI uses the SLR to control ease of credit in the economy. It also ensures that the banks maintain a certain level of funds to meet depositor’s demands instead of over liquidation. - Bank Rate Bank rate is a rate at which the Reserve Bank of India provides the loan to commercial banks without keeping any security. There is no agreement on repurchase that will be drawn up or agreed upon with no collateral as well. This is different from repo rate as loans taken with repo rate are taken on the basis of securities. Bank rate hence is higher than the repo rate. Currently the bank rate is 4.25%. Since bank rate is essentially a loan interest rate like repo rate, it affects the market in similar ways. - Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate (MCLR) This is the minimum rate below which the banks are not allowed to lend. Raising this rate, makes loans more expensive, drying up liquidity, affecting the market in a negative way. Similarly, lower MCLR rates will bring in high liquidity, affecting the market in a positive way. MCLR is a varying lending rate instead of a single rate according to the kind of loans. Currently, the MCLR rate is between 6.65% - 7.15% - Marginal Standing facility Marginal Standing Facility is the interest rate at which a depository institution (generally banks) lends or borrows funds with another depository institution in the overnight market. Overnight market is the part of financial market which offers the shortest term loans. These loans have to be repaid the next day. MSF can be used by a bank after it exhausts its eligible security holdings for borrowing under other options like the Liquidity adjustment facilities. The MSF would be a penal rate for banks and the banks can borrow funds by pledging government securities within the limits of the statutory liquidity ratio. The current rate stands at 4.25%. The effect it has on the market is synonymous with the other lending rates such as repo rate & bank rate. - Loan to value ratio The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is an assessment of lending risk that financial institutions and other lenders examine before approving a mortgage. Typically, loan assessments with high LTV ratios are considered higher risk loans. Basically, if a companies preferred form of collateral rises in value and leads the market (growing faster than the market), then the company will see the loans that it signed with higher LTV suddenly reduce (but the interest rate remains the same). Let’s consider an example of gold as a collateral. Consider a loan was approved with gold as collateral. The market price for gold is Rs 2000/g, and for each g, a loan of Rs 1500 was given. (The numbers are simplified for understanding). This would put LTV of the loan at 1500/2000 = 0.75. Since it is a substantial LTV, say the company priced the loan at 20% interest rate. Now the next year, the price of gold rose to Rs 3000/kg. This would mean that the LTV of the current loan has changed to 0.5 but the company is not obligated to change the interest rate. This means that even if the company sees a lot of defaults, it is fairly protected by the unexpected surge in the underlying asset. Moreover, since the underlying asset is more valuable, default rates for the loans goes down as people are more protective of the collateral they have placed. The same scenario for gold is happening right now and is the reason for gold backed loan providers like MUTHOOT to hit ATHs as gold is leading the economy right now. Also, these in these scenarios, it also enables companies to offer additional loan on same gold for those who are interested Instead of keeping the loan amount same most of the gold loan companies. Based on above, we can see that as RBI changes LTV for certain assets, we are in a position to identify potential institutions that could get a good Quarterly result and try to enter it early. Conclusion The above rates contain the ways in the Central Bank manages the monetary policy, growth and inflation in the country. Its impact on Stock market is often seen when these rates are changed, they act as triggers for the intraday positions on that day. But overall, the outlook is always maintained on how the RBI sees the country is doing, and knee jerk reactions are limited to intraday positions. The long term stance is always well within the limits of the outlook the big players in the market are expecting. The important thing to keep in mind is that the problems facing the economy needn’t be uni-dimensional. Problems with inflation, growth, liquidity, currency depreciation all can come together, for which the RBI will have to play a balancing role with all it powers to change these rates and the forex reserve. So the effect on the market needs to be given more thought than simply extrapolated as ‘rates go low, markets go up’. But understanding these individual effects of these rates allows you to start putting together the puzzle of how and where the market and the economy could go.
1) ONION Trade rules/regulations 2) Extension of ESI Scheme to Arunachal Pradesh 3) IIT in Partnership with TCS Sets New Trends in India’s Advanced Manufacturing Sector 4) Astronomers from NCRA-TIFR, Pune, and RRI, Bangalore uncover the mystery behind the decline of star formation rate after its peak 8-10 billion years ago 5) Sustainable Processing of Municipal Solid Waste: ‘Waste to Wealth’ 6) Maharashtra Denies consent to CBI 7) Forex Reserves 8) Pakistan on FATF Grey List 9) South Asian Flash Flood Guidance System 10) Deworming in India In Details: https://dailynewsteller.blogspot.com/2020/10/daily-current-affairs-24-october-2020.html
High Foreign Exchange Reserves and its Implications
Foreign exchange reserves are assets in foreign currencies held by the central bank. These may comprise foreign currencies, bonds, treasury bills and other government securities. These assets or reserves play a major role in influencing monetary policies or managing liabilities. The basic purpose of these reserves, however, is to ensure the presence of backup funds in the event of currency devaluation or insolvency. Recently, India had reached an all-time high of $507.64 billion of forex reserves making it the third-largest in Asia. These reserves are also sometimes estimated on how long worth of imports can a country manage- if other financing sources dry up, how long can the country manage on its own. Ideally, six months is considered sufficient, however, the current reserve is sufficient to fund twelve months of imports. However, a crucial difference is that other Asian countries reserves also comprise a significant component of export surplus apart from capital flows. India’s reserves, though, are mostly capital flows with very little or no trade surplus. Many believe that the high Forex reserve is unnecessary and yet the Indian government has held these reserves in liquid without proper utilization of it. The reason being that every foreign currency that enters the market increases the money supply in the economy- meaning that an excessive inflow of foreign currency can cause the problem of excessive liquidity and result in inflation. Moreover, surplus liquidity can hamper monetary policy operations. So it all boils down to a simple question whether such an increase in Forex is a Morale booster which will help us get back in the growth path or is over-reliance on forex reserves problematic? https://preview.redd.it/8zskvs5tnu951.jpg?width=1578&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=ad83d3e1c6e9ecfe4ba881716512b6dc6c9085aa
FROM THE CEO’s DESK Dear Investors, “Behind every dark cloud there is an every-shining sun. Just wait. In time, the cloud will pass.” Marianne Williamson. All inclusive, economies are seeing recuperation with pointers, for example, PMI showing an improvement in spite of infection resurgence in a couple of nations. U.S., Euro, and China manufacturing activities have picked up pace, with July numbers in these three regions crossing 50 mark, indicating expansion. Financial and monetary policies remain exceptionally accommodative, and liquidity remains buoyant, which should provide continued support for further economic recovery. Equity market declines provide opportunities to buy better stocks at lower valuations. We foresee this slowdown and the year 2020 from an investment opportunity viewpoint rather than worrying, as the risk-reward ratio in the current scenario is in favour of equity investments. The current positive outlook on the global markets is well backed by negative real rates, expansion of the central bank balance sheet along with growth recovery and medical progress on COVID-19 While there is a growing increase in the number of COVID cases on the domestic front, there has been an improvement in the recovery rate; in India it is about 68.41 percent while 64.05 percent globally. Early signs of pent-up demand are visible in the economy as indicated by high frequency indicators. Expected normal monsoon and higher sowing of Kharif crops YoY gives us the solace that the rural economy will play a major part in the future economic growth. Other macro factors such as low oil prices and stable currency, high forex reserves and current-account surplus will act as tailwinds for the domestic equity market. Expectations of the Q1 FY21 earnings to bottom out by FY21, while the economy and earnings are expected to normalize by FY23 keeping in mind the current low interest rate scenario and high liquidity, supports valuations. With the declining dollar index and humongous global liquidity we expect the money to flow into EMs. In July, the domestic equity market kept witnessing strong FII inflows coupled with steady SIP flows in mutual funds. Know more - http://www.karvywealth.com/data/sites/1/skins/karvywealth/Download_media_report.aspx?FileName=35269F8C-8C0A-4624-9FED-793AD0998167|5252655 ^ �]H"
How The Government Can Get 400,000 cr. to fight the Covid Slowdown
It’s obvious now that the lockdown will hurt India’s economy. And just as other countries are doing, we’ll need big stimulus to start pushing it back into gear. There’s a number of things that this process will involve: Old businesses can take time to come back to life. Because workers would have migrated, supply chains disrupted etc. They will need help to survive through a time when their factories or offices are shut, and to have paid intermediate salaries or rent. New businesses will have to be encouraged. Just as some businesses will need help, some of those will die. And those businesses will have to be replaced by others who are new and just getting in. Think of the barber shop that’s shut because it couldn’t pay rent for two months, but then people in the area will still need haircuts. Giving people and small businesses money directly into their accounts will probably become a necessity, to encourage people to spend or to pay for some of the damage caused due to the lockdown. The government will have to kickstart spending in a very large way – from better healthcare, to more infrastructure (to provide job) or simply to allow for the economy to rise again. This costs a ton of money. A rough estimate would be, say, Rs. 400,000 cr. The government doesn’t have this kind of money right now, and raising it by selling assets or issuing debt is enormously difficult. Because the debt it has is already quite large, though not as much compared to the western governments nowadays. However, it doesn’t need to take more debt. There’s money the government rightfully owns which sits idle in a very specific place. Here’s how it can get Rs. 400,000 cr. now. This kind of money doesn’t grow on trees, so what nonsense is this, Deepak? (I can hear you think) But bear with me, because I’ve thought this through. The money may not grow on trees, but there’s one big mega uncle who prints it, and generates a large amount of profit. It’s called the RBI. We have written earlier that the RBI has way too much money sitting in its balance sheet that it shouldn’t have. These are called “reserves” (very different from forex reserves). Read: The RBI is hoarding too much capital. Essentially, these are very large numbers of retained earnings, that has gone up even more now with this crisis. The extra earnings can be given back to the government, which can then spend it. Now, RBI makes a lot of money from multiple sources: It has nearly 10 lakh crore worth of government bonds, which, at 6.5% will give it roughly 65,000 cr. in interest per year. It also has, now, 35 lakh crores of Forex assets, (lets not call them “reserves” yet) , up over 6 lakh crores in the year. Yes, the RBI has bought a truckload of dollars this year. The forex reserves earned them over 74,000 cr. last year, and we expect this year to be a little more – probably 90,000 cr. all things considered. That is an income of 155,000 cr. already. Apart from this there is a big other benefit. Now the RBI owns all these dollars – it bought them when the rupee was lower (on average, probably Rs. 55 or so). When the dollar depreciates, to balance the accounts, the difference is placed in a Currency and Gold Revaluation Account (CGRA). The CGRA already had over Rs. 6 lakh crores last year. This year, considering the RBI has 450 billion dollars in foreign assets, that will add Rs. 4-5 per dollar as revaluation profit – around Rs. 200,000 cr. more in the CGRA. Due to accounting changes, and due to sales of dollars (around $30 billion in the full year) we should see around Rs. 60,000 cr. as a realized capital gain this year with the RBI. For details, here’s a good Ananth Narayan article, but note that I simply do not agree that such a profit is not a real profit – it’s as real as any rupee printed. The RBI doesn’t spend much: 7,000 cr. on employees, 5000 cr. on printing currency and this time, probably 10,000 cr. on payment of interest. What are you saying Deepak? All these big numbers…. Okay, ignore the nitty gritties. Simply put, RBI has a potential profit, this year, of around Rs. 200,000 cr. This is money it can remit straight to the government this year. Doesn’t it do that always? Well, no. The RBI is not very happy to be paying the government anything, to be honest. They keep building random “buffers” to avoid having to pay the government. See what all they have: Contingency fund: 200,000 cr. Why? We have no idea. The RBI never participates in any contingency whatsoever; all bank rescues are funded by the government or the PSUs or such. The RBI doesn’t even like to buy anything that isn’t government bonds, so they never take any balance sheet risk. There is no need for a contingency reserve at the RBI. And that too, 200,000 cr. – that’s more than 30% of India’s fiscal deficit! Come on. You might keep a little bit here, but to hoard such a large number here is unnecessary. Currency revaluation account: Now, over 800,000 cr. This is basically reflecting the fact that RBI bought dollars at Rs. 55 or gold at Rs. 1600 per gram and now the dollar is at 75, and gold is at 3800. This is huge. They keep adding to this fund every year, needlessly – a change in accounting procedure may help remove it. Asset Development Fund: Rs. 23,000 cr. Again, why? All major things owned by the RBI are now, by decree, transferred to the government. Examples: SBI, NABARD, NHB. Why should the RBI keep a reserve for this, especially when they have collectively spend less than 5000 cr. in the last five years from such a fund? What’s the point? Other stuff: Rs. 200,000 cr. This contains items like unrealized gains on Government bonds and foreign bonds Again, this should be a profit but is not recorded as one just so that they can avoid having to pay the government. (One simple way to record it is to sell all the bonds and buy them back instantly, converting all the unrealized gains to realised profit) In total, the RBI has a Rs. 13.5 lakh crores of extra profit (retained earnings of sorts) on its balance sheet. Every year, it generates a large profit and just keeps a good portion in each of these sub clauses, and avoids paying the government. In a partial correction, last year, they discovered that the excess on the balance sheet was too large, and paid out Rs. 1.76 lakh crores as dividend, but it still leaves a huge amount of room for more. You said Rs. 400,000 cr…. Yes, I’m coming to that. The RBI’s balance sheet is Rs. 47 lakh crores. The “equity” stuff on the balance sheet, which includes the “extra” stuff we talked about – is more than 13 lakh crores. That’s like 27% of their balance sheet. According to the recent Bimal Jalan committee report, the RBI should have a total buffer of about 21% – around 9.8 lakh crores. Given that they have more than 13.5 lakh crores – roughly 400,000 cr. can be given back to the government as dividend. But what will they sell to give dividends? Oh they don’t have to sell anything. The RBI has an account for the government. (It’s the govt’s banker). So you transfer from one account (the retained earnings) to another. That’s all. ￼Well, what happens when the government spends the money? It goes to a bank account with some bank. So that banks account with the RBI will swell up and the government’s will reduce. The RBI balance sheet doesn’t change – only the constituents do. Wait. Why all this now? Let’s get serious. This is a massive economic blow for the country. We will easily lose over 4% of GDP just to the lack of activity for a month. This has to be made up by massive government spending. That spending has to be financed. Already, the highest expenditure of the govt is interest payments. (Over 5 lakh crores in interest. The next highest entry, defence spending, is 40% lower!) The government may still need to borrow but why should it borrow when the RBI, which is owned by the government, has all the bloat sitting inside it? That’s like saying I have a lot of fixed deposits but let me go borrow money instead to pay for my urgent medical bills, even though I’m reeling under interest payments. The country needs help. We need to relax the ridiculously huge buffers maintained by the RBI in order for the government to spend. The RBI could pay a lot more – but this year, a 400,000 cr. payment looks very achievable without stepping on some toes. I’m not even asking for the government to eat into RBI’s already created massive reserves. Just that they take what profit would have been generated in this one year, instead of allowing RBI to bloat what is already much larger retained profits than required. Remember, most central banks have much lower retained equity as a percentage of their balance sheet. RBI is at 23% currently. Brazil is at 1%, Russia at 13%, South Africa at 1% and the closest perhaps is Germany at 13%. India’s RBI has simply way too much in terms of retained earnings and buffers. In the times of a crisis, you have to use buffers. This is a crisis. This is what a buffer was meant for. I know that a vast crowd will cry tears about how this undermines the independence of the RBI or some such random spiel, but this is not a time to listen to them. It’s time for us to place money in the hands of those that will shoulder the burden, and to not let it lie in forever-unused buffers like within the RBI. Note: What about inflation, you might ask. There will be no inflation by this; none of the above will cause balance sheet expansion of the RBI. And btw, the whole world is inflating and doing so heavily. And they’re all going to support their own countries with specific packages. In that context, there is very little likelihood of any inflation – in fact we’ll have to fight deflation in a slowdown. https://www.capitalmind.in/2020/04/how-the-government-can-get-400000-cr-to-fight-the-covid-slowdown/
INDIA NEEDS TO CURB ITS OIL DEPENDENCE TO REALISE RENEWABLE ENERGY GOALS
India’s efforts at realising green energy targets are facing an incredible challenge with its growing dependence on fossil fuels. The country has already become the 3rd biggest oil consumer in the world and predictions highlight India to become one of the two largest fossil fuel consumers in the world (consuming nearly 50% of global oil demand). Although, initiatives in policy reformation, building manufacturing sector and infrastructure development are leading India’s renewable energy mission, country’s oil dependence has to be curbed to truly realise green energy transition. https://preview.redd.it/n0j4ae3oq8551.jpg?width=768&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=afe313350143df0cedc94ea3c35dce6485036c60 The Scenario Dependence on oil increases the forex outflow, which could have been invested towards a speedier green energy adoption that promises to save billions on fossil fuel imports, create jobs, improve export demand, and restore climate degradation. https://preview.redd.it/4bewllyjq8551.jpg?width=600&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=7b6db5f0995ad0591059008391d1e5a8b6436cf7 Additionally, rising crude oil prices (from $39.9/per barrel in April 2016 to $56/per barrel in December 2019) clearly explain the urgency for green energy transition immediately. However, India has been consistently increasing its oil imports (importing more than 80% of its oil needs), spending $87.7 billion in 2017-18, $111 billion in 2018-19, while the cost is expected to reach at $112.7 billion in the current fiscal. Even recent agreement with the US to reduce India’s overwhelming dependence on West Asian members of the OPEC grouping, we have to point out that it will give rise to India’s oil imports by 42%, curbing attempts at bringing sustainability. Time to Realign Policies In 2015, our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had promised to work towards cutting India’s oil import dependence by 10% by 2022. However, country’s oil dependence has only increased so far. And as per the predictions of International Energy Agency, India’s demand for oil is expected to reach more than nine million barrels a day by 2040 and the country’s dependence on oil imports will rise to 90% in twenty years. It is easy to understand that with the oil consumption growing in India, it will impede the growth of renewable energy, especially solar. Current electricity demand in India is nearly 178 GW. Although India’s total installed energy capacity is 365 GW, and the country is spending billions upon billions in oil, there is a consistent deficit in energy supply (-0.6% in 2018-19). Factoring in fossil fuel’s limited reserves and rising cost, it is easy to understand that the deficit will only rise. This invariably indicates that shift to green energy is the right decision for India. Focusing On the Bright Side https://preview.redd.it/7761scbgq8551.jpg?width=600&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=6504ec779f592d37eb3de7b4a97cb8ef02b7c043 The future is about security and sustainability. It is easy to understand that oil dependence does not translate into that at all. Understanding the scenario, even oil economy run countries like Saudi Arabia are investing in the green energy transition. As the developed countries are moving towards green energy transition, developing countries are not far away from making positive changes to get out of the binds of depleting fossil fuel industry. For example- Brazil, South Africa, Chile, Philippines are making huge investments in solar energy adoption. In such a scenario, where India’s energy demand continues to rise (with population), depending on fossil fuel will only damage the country’s economy further. On the other hand, solar power is showing great promise in offering power to all, while saving money in the long run. By building solar manufacturing capacity within India, the country can effectively be free from the binds of fossil fuel, create green energy jobs and attain energy security while generating revenue through exporting solar equipment. It is the right time to make the changes that will lead India towards growth. The opportunity is right in front of us and all we need is to opt for sustainability to realise a brighter future. Source:- https://www.vikramsolar.com/blog-india-needs-to-curb-its-oil-dependence-to-realize-renewable-energy-goals/
Facing an unprecedented crisis, India has ratcheted up its forex reserves like never before
This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 69%. (I'm a bot)
The country's foreign exchange reserves are at an all-time high of over $500 billion, according to data released by India's central bank on June 12.The strong forex pool provides stability in today's grim economic conditions. The rise of forexThe reasons behind the swelling forex reserves are India's shrinking import bill, an increase in foreign direct investments, improved inflows from foreign portfolio investors into the stock and debt markets, and the Reserve Bank of India's buying spree. "These assets, which are in other foreign currencies, are appreciating against the dollar and this too is pushing up the forex reserve valuations," he said. Friends with benefitsThe biggest beneficiary of strong forex reserves is the Indian currency. Pointing to 2013 when the Indian rupee depreciated by more than 20% in a span of just 4-6 weeks, Chari states that "The size of the forex reserves with respect to the current account deficit and portfolio flows becomes a key determinant of whether the currency can come under a speculative attack." Apart from protecting the rupee, large forex reserves act as an assurance to the world that India can meet its external obligations like payment for imports.
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Pakistan's economy contracts for first time in 68 years by -0.38% amid COVID-19 pandemic
This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 58%. (I'm a bot)
Islamabad: For the first time in 68 years, Pakistan's economy is set to contract in the outgoing fiscal year with a negative 0.38 per cent due to the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic coupled with the already weak financial situation before the pandemic hit the country, according to the economic survey unveiled on Thursday. The pandemic has badly hit the economy in the current fiscal year ending on June 30. For the first time in 68 years, Pakistan's economy has marginally contracted by 0.38 per cent in the outgoing fiscal year due to adverse impacts of novel coronavirus coupled with economic stabilisation policies that had hit the industrial sector much before the deadly pandemic. He said the current account deficit was reduced by 73.1 per cent to USD 2.8 billion against USD 10.3 billion last year which was 3.7 per cent of GDP. "The current account deficit that we inherited was around USD 20 billion but we have reduced that to around USD 3 billion. This is a huge achievement of the government," he said. Minister for Economic Affairs Khusru Bakhtiar said that this government had USD 9 billion forex exchange reserves when it came to power in August 2018 and by the end of this year it would be more than USD 18 billion. He said the debt was USD 40 billion in 2013 and rose to USD 48 billion by 2013 during the tenure of Pakistan Peoples Party and again increased to USD 73 billion by 2018 in the five years of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.
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India should take this opportunity to hedge it's oil supply
The current oil price war is a once in a generation event. In terms of the COVID caused demand shock and the Saudi-Russian supply shock, it's a once in a lifetime event. The time to hedge is now. To guarantee low oil prices for India for the coming year (s) and heal our current account deficit. What is hedging? A 'hedge' is a financial contract whereby you agree to purchase oil at a pre-determined price. Hedges are used to reduce price risk and they are a popular strategy used by some large oil users (particularly airlines) to ensure that fuel price volatility doesn't affect their plans. Typically, under the contract, a user will offer to purchase oil at a fixed price at a later date. (say for eg. Jan 2021). The supplier will purchase oil today and will store it for delivery at that later date. If oil prices are so low, why should we hedge? Neither Saudi or Russia can afford to engage in this oil price war for too long. Their economies and forex reserves are too intertwined to be able to afford to fight this war for too long. They are going to cave sooner or later. Furthermore, the main target of the oil price war is the US Shale oil Industry. This industry is a 400 pound gorilla in the oil world which has transformed energy markets and made US a net oil exporter, a feat unimaginable a few years ago. Essentially, clever American entrepreneurs learnt to extract oil from shale rock using advanced technology and caused the largest net increase in production in the shortest span of time. Between 2005 and 2020, the US has MORE THAN TRIPLED it's oil production. However, shale oil requires prices of over 40-50$ a barrel to be economical. https://in.reuters.com/article/us-global-oil-shale-costs-analysis/few-u-s-shale-firms-can-withstand-prolonged-oil-price-war-idINKBN2130HL Once the shale producers are destroyed we will once again be at the mercy of OPEC and the Arabs. Have we seen such an oil price war before? Yes. In the late 1980s, late 90s and between 2014-2016. Each time Saudi blinked and reduced oil production to shore up prices. https://www.spglobal.com/en/research-insights/articles/why-saudi-arabia-s-oil-price-war-is-doomed-to-fail-fuel-for-thought Do countries use hedges to hedge their oil supply? Sort of. While typical consumers who hedge are usually airlines. Suppliers often hedge as well. Mexico (which is a large oil exporter) annually hedges almost all of it's production in what is called a 'Hacienda Hedge'. This year's hedge has saved the Mexican Economy https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Mexicos-Oil-Hedge-Just-Saved-Its-Economy.html When is it a right time to hedge? This one is tricky. The ideal time to hedge is when oil prices are near their bottom. Just like there is talk of 'flattening the curve' with Covid, for traded commodities the best time to hedge is the 'bottom of the curve' This chart shows the price of 1 barrel of Brent Crude oil up to 80 months into the future. That's almost 5 years! https://www.erce.energy/graph/brent-futures-curve The price of oil 5 years from now is shown to be currently at 54 dollars a barrel. That is much lower than what we were paying just last year in September when Saudi oil facilities were attacked. What are the risks? The risks are mainly three fold.
Hedges work essentially by storing cheap oil today and having it delivered at a later date. As India is a large oil importer, any attempt to hedge oil consumption will immediately cause oil prices to rise. Therefore, while it may not be possible to hedge all of India's oil consumption, it is certainly possible to hedge a significant part of it.
India will not be able to take advantage of lower oil prices if prices CONTINUE to stay low. However, past history shows this is unlikely.
Indian Oil PSUs also export large amounts of their products overseas due to surplus refining capacity. However, if oil prices continue to be low, the relative cost of their products increases and export become uneconomical.
-Rupee continues to recover, gains Rs4.16 in four months The Pakistani rupee has maintained a gradual uptrend against the US dollar since the beginning of current fiscal year in July and is anticipated to gain more ground in the remaining eight months amid expectations of increase in foreign currency inflows. The rupee gradually strengthened Rs4.16 or 2.60% in the past around four months to Rs155.88 to the US dollar in the inter-bank market on Friday, according to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). “The rupee may recover to 145 to the greenback by June 30, 2020,” Forex Association of Pakistan (FAP) President Malik Bostan projected while talking to The Express Tribune. Further: -In a positive development, Pakistani Rupee hits highest level of four months against US dollar The Pakistani rupee has shown recovery against the US dollar as the US currency reached the lowest level in four months. -ExxonMobil to help build LNG terminal in Pakistan After getting a liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply contract from private-sector consumers, US energy giant ExxonMobil is planning to build the third LNG terminal in Karachi as a joint-venture partner. Some time ago, ExxonMobil, in collaboration with Pakistan’s exploration and production companies, drilled an offshore well to search for hydrocarbon reserves in the Arabian Sea. However, the effort could not prove successful. Now, in a new venture with Energas consortium, the US firm is going to invest in setting up an LNG terminal in Pakistan. -Pakistan's Hindu community celebrates Diwali today in a renovated temple reopened by the Pakistan government after 72 years he country’s Hindu community is celebrating the annual religious festival of Diwali. The religious festivities are expected to take place in Shawala Teja Singh Temple, located in Sialkot, after 72 years. All preparations for the upcoming festival have been completed. The festival of Diwali is being seen as more of a cultural than a religious one as people from other faiths will celebrate alongside members of the Hindu community. The temple, where the festivities will take place, was closed down in 1947. The Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) and certain members of the Hindu community decided to open the temple a few months ago, after which the renewal and renovation work had begun. Now, for the first time, this temple is going to celebrate a religious ceremony. -Tax Returns Filed Per Day in 2019 Have Increased by 127 Percent: FBR Chairman Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) Chairman Syed Shabbar Zaidi has announced that on average, tax returns filed per day in 2019 have risen by 127 percent compared to last year. In a Twitter post, Zaidi shared details of the tax returns filed so far. As per the records, the number of tax returns filed in 2019 till October 25 stands at 918,027, as compared to 585,209 tax returns filed in the same period last year. Zaidi said that as of November, the FBR will impose strict measures against unauthorized interactions and harassement between its staff and the business community. The business community is suggested to report to FBR if any person contacts them through any manner without proper authorization. -Pakistan, Nepal agree to enhance trade ties President Dr. Arif Alvi on Saturday held a meeting with the Nepal’s Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli on the sidelines of 18th Non Aligned Movement Summit in Baku, ARY News reported. According to a statement issued by the ministry, both the leaders affirmed to enhance trade ties between the two countries and expressed their desire to further strengthen the bonds of friendship. Matters of mutual interest, bilateral relations, regional peace, grave human rights violations and humanitarian crisis in occupied Kashmir and other issues were came under discussion in the meeting. Speaking on the occasion, President Alvi briefed the Nepalese prime minister on Indian illegal actions in occupied Kashmir. He expressed hope that Nepal will play its role as SAARC chair, for strengthening peace and stability in the region. -CPEC enters into 2nd phase: Poverty, agriculture, B2B initiatives prime focus: Khusro Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar Wednesday said the CPEC has now entered into its second phase with focus on poverty alleviation, agriculture and B2B industrial cooperation. “The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government's economic reform measures will strengthen the country's economy as the investors' confidence is rebounding due to corrective measures," the minister expressed these views while talking to Australian High Commissioner Dr Geoffrey Shaw who called on him on Wednesday. Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan was also present in the meeting. While discussing bilateral relations and foreign investment in various sectors in Pakistan especially in Gwadar, the minister said that ongoing phase of CPEC will bring about socioeconomic benefits for the welfare of the people. He said that CPEC offers enormous potential to boost national economy and reduce poverty. -Pakistan's Defence Exports have reached USD 212.6 MILLION IN 2018-2019 According to the Pakistan Ministry of Defence Production’s (MoDP) “First Year Performance Report,” the country had registered $212.6 million US in defence exports from August 2018 to August 2019. Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) booked the highest value at $184.38 million US, which was followed by Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) at $7.13 million US and Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) at $1.3 million US. In addition, private sector firms booked $19.36 million US in sales. No additional breakdowns were provided by the MoDP. It is likely that PAC’s exports were fueled by co-production work for FC-1/JF-17 sales to Myanmar and/or Nigeria. Though an agreement was signed with Turkey for the sale of 52 Super Mushshak basic trainers, it is unclear if PAC has started manufacturing these aircraft. -DRAP to launch countrywide drive against substandard, spurious medicines The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) is launching a countrywide campaign against substandard medicines, the PM’s Special Assistant on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza said while addressing the federal and provincial drug inspectors in Islamabad on Thursday. He said a crackdown is being launched throughout the country to eradicate the menace of unregistered, spurious and sub-standard medicine. In addition to medicine quality, he added, DRAP will also take stern action against violation of fixed prices of medicines. -Foreign exchange: SBP reserves increase $79m to $7.89b The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 1.14% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday. Earlier, the reserves had spiralled downwards, falling below the $7-billion mark, which raised concern over Pakistan’s ability to meet its financing requirements. However, financial assistance from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and other friendly nations helped shore up the foreign exchange reserves. On October 18, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $7,892.7 million, up $79 million compared with $7,813.7 million in the previous week. The report cited no reason for the increase in reserves, which stood below the $8-billion mark. -Ease of business: Pakistan up 28 places on World Bank index Pakistan has jumped up 28 places on the World Bank’s (WB) Ease of Doing Business Index and secured a place among the top 10 countries with the most improved business climate – a development that will greatly improve Islamabad’s image abroad, Pakistan carried out six reforms that helped improving its ranking from 136 to 108, according to the WB’s annual flagship report, ‘Ease of Doing Business 2020’, released on Thursday. It turned out to be the sixth global reformer and first in South Asia that brought ease in doing business in the last one year. The fewer are the regulations the better is the ranking on the index. The key to attain perfection is to cut the bureaucracy hindering business activities in the name of various regulations and procedures. -CM approves Rs 500m for Punjab Housing & Town Planning Agency Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has given approval of Rs 500 million for Punjab Housing & Town Planning Agency. He gave approval while presiding over a high-level meeting at CM Office here on Monday. During the meeting progress on Naya Pakistan Housing Project for low-income persons was reviewed and detailed briefing was also given to the participants on Naya Pakistan Housing strategy. While addressing the meeting, Usman Buzdar said that obstacles should be removed in order to ensure completion of Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme and financial conditions of common man should be kept in mind while chalking out housing policy of the project. All out attention should be paid while constructing small houses in the province, he added. It has also been decided during the meeting to launch rural housing project in 17 model villages. -KSE 100 gains 204 points amid improved sentiments The benchmark KSE 100 Index depicted remarkable progress as it gained around 204 points and concluded at 33,861-level.It was a busy start to the week at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) with earnings season hitting its peak, while volumes remained at par with previous weeks’ average. Biggest single day investment in treasury bills in the previous week of estimated US $87.5 million, increasing total investment to US$440 million since July 2019 was the major rally point in the market sentiments. The bourse recorded an intraday low of 33,572.36 soon after the commencement of the session. However, after regaining the momentum, the index marked its day’s high at 34,008.35 adding 350.89 points. It settled higher by 204.13 points at 33,861.59. The KMI 30 Index accumulated 386.53 points to settle at 55,155.92, while the KSE All Share Index managed to gain 86.13 points, ending at 24,543.78. -Sindh to reserve 0.5% job quota for transgender persons The Sindh Cabinet on Wednesday agreed to reserve 0.5 per cent quota in government jobs for transgender persons. “I want to bring transgender people into the mainstream,” said Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah during the cabinet meeting. “We want to make them an asset for our society.” CM Murad congratulated the transgender community on behalf of the cabinet and advised them to improve their education. Around 41,000 positions are vacant in different government departments across Sindh out of which 206 will be given to transgender people. A spokesperson from the chief minister’s house stated that out of the 41,000 available jobs 16,000 positions will be filled this fiscal year. Rest of the positions will be filled in the period of next three years. -Malaysia's Mahathir stands by Kashmir comments despite India palm oil boycott Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Tuesday he would not retract his criticism of New Delhi’s actions in occupied Kashmir despite Indian traders calling for an unprecedented boycott of Malaysian palm oil. The impasse could exacerbate what Mahathir described as a trade war between the world’s second biggest producer and exporter of the commodity and its biggest buyer so far this year. India’s top vegetable oil trade body on Monday asked its members to stop buying Malaysian palm oil after Mahathir said at the United Nations General Assembly last month that India had “invaded and occupied” Kashmir. -“World’s two major companies setting up solar panel plants in Pakistan” Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry announced on Monday that the world’s two major solar panel firms will establish their plants in Pakistan. The minister tweeted saying “good news gets lost in political plays, yet I am very happy that the world’s two major companies are setting up solar panel’s plants in Pakistan.” Chaudhry added that China’s second-largest Lithium battery producer will also set up its workshop in Pakistan. The Lithium battery-powered buses will also be manufactured in Pakistan, the tweet further said. The Minister for Science and Technology was recently on a visit to Beijing where he met various Chinese officials and the country’s business leaders. -Pakistan Navy organizes free medical camp in Balochistan Navy organized a free medical camp in the village Dam of Balochistan in collaboration with Sahil and Ulfat welfare foundations. According to the spokesperson of Pakistan Navy, specialist doctors of surgical, medical, skin, gynecology, child and general medically inspected patients at the camp. Over 700 patients were provided with free medical treatment, medicines and ordinary surgical facilities. -Lahore to get Tram service soon Citizens of Lahore are getting a modern-day tram service soon, based on the famous British-era tram service. In this regard, the Punjab Transport Department has inked an agreement with CRSC International, a Chinese company specializing in rail transportation control systems, and Inkon Group of the Czech Republic. The development of the project is divided into several phases. In the first phase, a 35 km track will be constructed on Canal Road, Lahore. Up to 50 trams will run on this track. Once operational, the trams will be able to carry 35,000 passengers in 1 hour. The trams will be powered through electricity and batteries. A single tram will have a service life of around 40 years. 2 tram depots will be constructed at different locations as well. -10 Pakistani Universities Ranked Among the World’s Best in ‘University Impact Rankings 2019’ Ten Pakistani universities have been ranked among the top universities in the world in the Times Higher Education (THE)’s list. THE is a weekly UK-based magazine that issues its annual list of world’s most influential universities. The list called ‘University Impact Rankings 2019’ has included 10 Pakistani varsities in different categories, including Gender Equality, Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education, Decent Work, Economic Growth, and others. According to the magazine, the rankings assess universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. -PM Imran Khan inaugurates China-Hub Power Generation Plant in Balochistan Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has said that Pakistan is moving forward through China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects. Addressing inaugural ceremony of China Hub Power Generation Plant in Balochistan, he said this is the first joint project under the CPEC umbrella and he is very happy after inaugurating it. “The government will facilitate joint collaboration between Pakistani and Chinese businesses in various sectors.”, he said. PM Imran Khan said with the help of coal reserves in Thar, Pakistan can generate huge amount of electricity, which can be enough for at least 100 years. -Punjab Forest Department develops ‘record keeping’ mechanism Department of Forest Punjab is managing 1.6 million acres of forest land area – 67 per cent of the entire forest land area in Punjab – under the Geographic Information System (GIS), Pakistan Today learnt reliably on Friday. The program enabled the forests department to ensure sound management and introduce state of the art record-keeping and mapping methods. ‘Development of GIS-Based Forest Management Information System in Punjab’ was approved at PC-1 with a cost of Rs75 million and a gestation period of 36 months (2016-2019) has allowed for transfer of all forest resources and inventories into IT-based inventory systems and achieved extensive field surveys, rapid data collection and its processing for development of the forestry sector on efficient lines. -Hutchison Port Holdings announces $240m investment in Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has welcomed $240 million foreign investment from Hutchison Port Holdings, a Hong Kong-based port operator. A delegation of Hutchison Port Holdings, led by its Group Managing Director Eric Ip, called on Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday. Other delegation members included HPH Middle East & Africa Managing Director Andy Tsoi and Middle East & Africa Business Director Eric Ng. Maritime Affairs Minister Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razzaq Dawood, Special Assistant to PM on Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Ambassador-at-Large for Foreign Investment Ali Jehangir Siddiqui and Board of Investment Chairman Zubair Haider Gilani were also present on the occasion. Group Managing Director Eric Ip apprised the prime minister of Hutchison’s fresh investment into Pakistan approximating $240 million which will enhance the new container terminal capacity at the Karachi Port, and increase Hutchison Ports’ total investment in Pakistan to $1 billion. -Punjab's tax collection jumps 44% Punjab’s tax collection registered a 44% growth to Rs77 billion in first quarter of the ongoing fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of previous year, despite tough conditions of the federal government for the provinces to get a share in the federal divisible pool of resources. Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht disclosed this at a review meeting of the Finance Department on Monday. The meeting was briefed that despite the financial backlog left by the previous government, the current government gave a surplus budget of Rs233 billion in order to meet financial requirements of the federal government to comply with conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme. -‘SECP recognised as 7th most effective regulator in world’ The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has been recognised as the “7th most effective regulator” by the World Economic Forum in its ‘Global Competitiveness Report-2019’. “Pakistan was ranked as the 52nd most dynamic economy in the world. The country secured this by improving 15 points from last year, as it stood at 67th in 2018,” said a statement issued by Mishal Pakistan, Country Partner at WEF’s Institute of the Future of Economic Progress System Initiative, on Wednesday. “The progress of Pakistan’s competitiveness was due to the achievements made during the last 12 months.” The most effective improvements were made due to the initiative and strategies adopted by the apex regulator for the corporate sector and the capital markets; supervision and regulation of insurance, non-banking financial companies and private pension schemes. The SECP improved Pakistan’s competitiveness rankings by improving the “number of days to start a business”, where Pakistan was ranked at the 90th position compared with 96th in 2018. -Pakistan China bilateral trade crosses $19 billion, highest ever in history Pakistan Ambassador to China , Naghmana Hashmi has said the bilateral trade volume between Pakistan and China has now touched US $ 19.08 billion and both countries aimed to raise it further. “The bilateral trade volume between Pakistan and China has now touched US$ 19.08. We aim to raise it further,” Ambassador Hashmi said joint ventures in defence production have led to the manufacture of the MBT 2000 Al-Khalid Tank and JF-17 Thunder, a fighter aircraft. “On the diplomatic front, the two countries are committed to protecting and promoting multilateralism and upholding the United Nations (UN)Charter, while our cooperation has extended to science and technology, socioeconomic sectors and nuclear cooperation for peaceful purposes,” she added. -Foreign Company Agrees to Drop $6 Billion Penalty, Re-Invest in Reko Diq: Reports The International Center of Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) had slapped the country with a $6 billion penalty for revoking the contract without prior knowledge back in 2009. Soon after the development, the Prime Minister had empowered his financial team to contact the executives of the Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) to reach an out-of-court settlement and avoid the penalty. Reportedly, after the Pakistan authority’s approach, the company has not only agreed to take back the penalty but has also agreed to invest in the project again. As per media reports, PM Imran Khan contacted the TCC management and discussed the prospects of the matter. He assured the company his full support if they wanted to revise the investment plan for the project. The company will reportedly withdraw its appeal from the ICSID, while Pakistan will compensate for their damages due to the cancelation of the contract. -Current account deficit shrinks massive 64pc The country’s current account deficit (cad) in the first quarter of current fiscal year declined by a huge 64 per cent mainly on the back of a 21pc reduction in the imports bill. The State Bank’s latest data issued on Friday showed the current account deficit for July-September FY20 clocked in at $1.548 billion compared to $4.287bn in the same period last fiscal year; a decline of $2.739bn. The reduced current account deficit is a positive omen for the government, which is struggling with slow economic growth and high inflation. However, despite massive decline in rupee’s value, the country’s exports have failed to register any noticeable increase during the period. -Food imports down 24pc, exports up 14pc in Q1 FY20 Food group imports into the country during the first quarter of the current financial year (July-Sept 2019-20) decreased considerably by 24.7pc, whereas exports increased by 13.98pc compared with the corresponding period of last year. The import of food commodities into the country during the period under review came down from $1.45 billion to $1 billion, whereas the exports increased from $864 million to $984.7 million, according to latest data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). -Chinese Smartphone Company Realme to build mobile phone manufacturing factory in Pakistan Chinese company Realme's Director of Marketing in Pakistan Mr He Shunzi in an interview disclosed that Realme is planning to set up the mobile phone manufacturing factory in Pakistan. He told that company is inspecting locations in Islamabad, Peshawar, and Faisalabad Industrial Estate for suitable land. Pakistani mobile market offers guaranteed capital as Realme ranked top five android brands in Pakistan in less than nine months, capturing 8% of total market share, he added. -Chinese Coal Giant Wants to Convert Thar’s Coal to Diesel China’s Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group will help convert Thar’s coal into oil and the talks between the two parties are underway. The Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group is a subsidiary of China’s biggest coal producer, the Shenhua Group and the company already has the world’s largest plant for converting coal into diesel, with an annual production capacity of 4 million tons in Ningxia in its portfolio. The agreement, if signed, will be a ‘game-changer’ for Pakistan, believes Adviser to Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar, who accompanied Imran Khan on his recent visit to China. The Pakistani delegation held talks with the Shenhua Group during the trip: -In a positive development, Pakistan projected among top 20 rising economic growth engines of the World Pakistan projected among 20 top rising economic growth engines of the World that would dominate the global growth in next 5 years. Pakistan has been projected as one of 20 countries that will dominate global growth in five years time in 2024, an assessment made by Bloomberg using data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). -In a positive development, Pakistan textile exports register increase Textile exports from the country increased by 2.95pc during the first quarter of the current fiscal year (July-Sept FY20) compared with the corresponding period of the last fiscal year. The textile exports during the period under review were recorded at $3,371.974 million as against the exports of $3,275.303 million during July-September 2018-19, according to latest data by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). The textile commodities that contributed to the positive growth included raw cotton, exports of which grew by 53.65pc, from $7.047 million to $10.828 million. Similarly, the exports of yarn (other than cotton yarn) increased by 21.95pc, from $7.759 million last year to $9.462 million, while that of knitwear surged by 11.14pc, from $701.393 million to $779.548 million. -Kartarpur Corridor will open to public on November 9: PM Imran Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday announced that Pakistan will inaugurate the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9. The premier’s announcement came via a Facebook post in which he said that construction work on the Pakistani side had entered the final stage. “Pakistan is all set to open its doors for Sikhs from all across the globe,” he wrote. “World’s largest Gurdwara will be visited by Sikhs from across India and other parts of the world,” he said. -'$1.2b penalty in Karkey case likely to be waived' Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and senior lawyer Babar Awan has said that the $1.2 billion penalty that Pakistan has to pay to Turkey’s Karkey rental power plant is likely to be waived. “International institutions, through high-level backdoor contacts, have agreed to waive off the penalty. This is very good news for Pakistan,” said Awan while addressing the media on Friday. “International institutions have shown their trust in Prime Minister Imran Khan,” he added. -Punjab Govt to Introduce a Unified Tax Collection System Punjab government is contemplating the introduction of a unified tax collection system in the province. The unified system will streamline the tax collection process and facilitate the taxpayers. At the moment, Punjab Revenue Department, Excise and Taxation Department, and local administrations collect taxes in Punjab. On Sunday, Finance Minister of Punjab, Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht, headed a meeting of Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA). Bakht said that a special tax management unit will be set up at the Punjab finance department that will unify tax collection all across the country. -PM To Launch Clean Green Pakistan Index for Multiple Cities Prime Minister’s Adviser on Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam, said that Imran Khan will launch the Clean Green Pakistan Index (CGPI) at a grand launching ceremony on October 30. The initiative is aimed at introducing competition among cities on various indicators, including public access to clean drinking water, safe sanitation, effective solid waste management, and tree plantation. The prime minister will announce a six-month competition among 19 cities of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces, he added. The adviser said that after six months, these cities will be ranked again and those with prominent progress will be rewarded with special federal and provincial government funds and more cities will be joining the competition. -PM Khan Will Lay The Foundation of Baba Guru Nanak University on Oct. 28 Prime Minister Imran Khan is going to lay the foundation stone of Baba Guru Nanak University on October 28. The establishment of this university in Nankana Sahib was announced earlier this year when PM Khan was in the town for a Spring Tree Plantation Campaign. -Sindh govt invites bids for Dhabeji SEZ The Sindh government has launched the well-connected Dhabeji Special Economic Zone in district Thatta near Port Qasim, according to a statement issued on Monday. In this connection, the Sindh Economic Zones Management Company (SEZMC), being the provincial SEZ custodian, has invited proposals for the development and operation of Dhabeji project through an advertisement published in leading national and international newspapers. Dhabeji SEZ was highlighted in the recent meeting of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Joint Working Group on Industrial Cooperation. The senior officials of China’s National Development Reforms Commission (NDRC) appreciated the Sindh government on the progress made so far. The Sindh government launched the project through an international competitive bidding process as a build-up to the upcoming 10th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting between China and Pakistan, which would be held next month. -Rice exports surge 51pc in first quarter FY20 Rice exports from the country during the first quarter of the financial year 2019-20 grew by 50.76pc as compared to the corresponding period last year. During the July-September period, about 839,356 metric tonnes of rice, worth $470.584 million, were exported as compared the exports of 551.5,86 metric tonnes, valuing $312.147 million, during the same period of FY19. According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the exports of basmati rice increased by 47.29pc, as 212,873 metric tonnes of basmati rice ($194.669 million) were exported during the first quarter of FY20, as compared the 127,669 metric tonnes ($132.166 million) in the same period of last year. Meanwhile, 34,090 metric tonnes of fish and fish preparations worth $79.549 million were also exported in the period under review as compared to the exports of 25,859 metric tonnes valuing $67.294 million during the same period of last year.
The proven oil reserves in Venezuela are recognized as the LARGEST in the world, totaling 297 billion barrels. While ignoring (and even supporting) the atrocities of authoritarian regimes in places like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Uzbekistan, US oligarchs have targeted Venezuela for “regime-change” in the name of “democracy”. Currently, the US is engaging in economic warfare against Venezuela to foment a coup and remove its democratically elected president Nicolás Maduro. Without providing solid evidence, our corporate-controlled government and mainstream media portray Maduro as a corrupt, repressive, and illegitimate leader with little to no support.
Why is the US Corporatocracy so Keen to Remove Maduro?
While Venezuela’s economy is not a strictly-state-run economy, its oil industry is nationalized and uses its revenues for the benefit of its citizens (especially the poor). After years of crippling US sanctions Maduro stepped over a crucial line in October when his government announced that Venezuela was abandoning the US dollar and would be make all future transactions on the Venezuelan exchange market in euro. Saddam Hussein also went off the dollar in favor of the euro in 2003 – we started dropping bombs on him the next month. A similar decision by the Gadhafi government in Libya (2011) was quickly followed by a devastating US-orchestrated conflict - culminating in Gadhafi's capture by radical Islamists who sodomized him with a bayonet before killing him. Since then, Libya has gone from Africa's wealthiest country to a truly failed-state complete with a slave trade! To make matters worse, after the collapse of the Libyan government, its military arms were smuggled out of that country and into the hands of ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria - enabling US-orchestrated chaos in those countries.
Who cares what currency a country uses to trade petroleum?
Answer: US oligarchy
The US dollar is central to US world economic domination. Like all other modern currencies, it is a fiat currency – backed by no real assets to prop up its value. In lieu of a “gold standard” we know operate on a de-facto “oil-standard”: "After the collapse of the Bretton Woods gold standard in the early 1970s, the United States struck a deal with Saudi Arabia to standardize oil prices in dollar terms. Through this deal, the petrodollar system was born, along with a paradigm shift away from pegged exchanged rates and gold-backed currencies to non-backed, floating rate regimes. The petrodollar system elevated the U.S. dollar to the world's reserve currency and, through this status, the United States enjoys persistent trade deficits and is a global economic hegemony." Investopedia “The central banking Ponzi scheme requires an ever-increasing base of demand and the immediate silencing of those who would threaten its existence. Perhaps that is what the hurry [was] in removing Gaddafi in particular and those who might have been sympathetic to his monetary idea.” Anthony Wile
US Foreign Policy is about Oligarchy Not Democracy
Since World War II, the US has attempted to over-throw the 52 foreign governments. Aside from a handful of exceptions (China, Cuba, Vietnam, etc.), the US has been successful in the vast majority of these attempts. US foreign policy is not about democracy – it is about exploiting the world’s resources in the interests of a small, ultra-wealthy global elite. This exploitation benefits a small percentage of people at the top of the economic pyramid while the costs are born by those at the bottom.
US CIA Coup Playbook:
How to Plunder Resources from Foreign Countries While Pretending to Support Democracy
Find a country with resources you want.
Send in an “Economic Hitman” to offer bribes the country’s leader in the form of personally lucrative business deals. If he accepts the deal, the leader will amass a personal fortune in exchange for "privatizing” the resources you wish to extract.
If the leader will not accept your bribes, begin the regime-change process. 3) Engage in economic warfare by imposing crippling sanctions on the country and blame the ensuing shortages on the leader’s “socialist” policies. 4) Work with right-wing allies inside country to fund and organize an “astroturf” opposition group behind a corporate-friendly puppet. 5) Hire thugs inside country to incite unrest and violence against the government in coordination with your opposition group. Use corporate media to publicize the orchestrated outbursts as popular outrage and paint a picture of a “failed state” mired in corruption and chaos. 6) When the government arrests your thugs, decry the response as the brutal repression. Use corporate-owned media to demonize the target government as a despotic regime while praising your puppet opposition as champions of democracy. 7) Work with right-wing military leaders to organize the overthrow the government (offer them the same business deals the current leader refused). 8) If a military-led coup cannot be organized, create a mercenary army to carry out acts of terrorism against the government and its supporters. Portray the mercenaries as “freedom fighters” and their acts of terrorism as a “civil war”. 9) If the target government has popular and military support and is too well-defended for your mercenaries to over-throw: label the country a “rouge state” and wait for the right time to invade. Meanwhile, continue to wear the country’s government and populace down using steps 3 – 8. 10) Escalate the terror campaign within the country to provoke a military response from the country against the US. If they won’t take the bait , fabricate an attack or threat that you can sell to the US population as justification for an invasion. 11) Once the government is removed, set up your puppet regime to provide the illusion of sovereignty. The regime will facilitate and legitimize your appropriation of the country’s resources under the guise of "free" trade. 12) As you continue to extract the country’s resources, provide intelligence and military support to the puppet regime to suppress popular dissent within the country. 13) Use the demise of the former government as yet another example of the impracticality of “socialism.” What Can I Do? Call your senators and representatives to voice your opposition to US regime-change efforts in Venezuela. https://www.commoncause.org/find-your-representative/ Please share this message with others. Sources included at: https://link.medium.com/8DiA5xzx4T
ALAN MACLEOD FEBRUARY 8, 2019 A recent Gallup poll (8/13/18) found that a majority of millennials view socialism favorably, preferring it to capitalism. Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in the United States, while new leftist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (AOC) policies of higher taxes on the wealthy, free healthcare and public college tuition are highly popular—even among Republican voters (FAIR.org,1/23/19). Alarmed by the growing threat of progressive policies at home, the establishment has found a one-word weapon to deploy against the rising tide: Venezuela. The trick is to attack any political figure or movement even remotely on the left by claiming they wish to turn the country into a “socialist wasteland” (Fox News, 2/2/19) run by a corrupt dictatorship, leaving its people hungry and devastated. Leading the charge have been Fox News and other conservative outlets. One Fox opinion piece (1/25/19) claimed that Americans should be “absolutely disgusted” by the “fraud” of Bernie Sanders and Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, as they “continue to promote a system that is causing mass starvation and the collapse of a country,” warning that is exactly what their failed socialist policies would bring to the US. (Back in the real world, while Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez identify as socialists, Warren is a self-described capitalist, and Booker is noted for his ties to Wall Street, whose support for his presidential bid he has reportedly been soliciting.) A second Fox Newsarticle (1/27/19) continues in the same vein, warning that, “At the heart of Venezuela’s collapse is a laundry list of socialist policies that have decimated its economy.” TheWall Street Journal(1/28/19) describes calls for negotiations in Venezuela as “siding with the dictator.” In an article entitled “Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn and the Starving Children of Venezuela,” the Washington Examiner (6/15/17) warned its readers to “beware the socialist utopia,” describing it as a dystopia where children go hungry thanks to socialism. The Wall Street Journal (1/28/19) recently condemned Sanders for his support of a “dictator,” despite the fact Bernie has strongly criticized Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, and dismissed Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chavez, as a “dead Communist dictator” (Reuters, 6/1/16). More supposedly centrist publications have continued this line of attack. The New York Times’ Bret Stephens (1/25/19) argued: “Venezuela is a socialist catastrophe. In the age of AOC, the lesson must be learned again”—namely, that “socialism never works,” as “20 years of socialism” has led to “the ruin of a nation.” The Miami Herald(2/1/19) cast shame on Sanders and AOC for arguing for socialism in the face of such overwhelming evidence against it, describing the left’s refusal to back self-appointed president Juan Guaidó, someone whomless than 20 percentof Venezuelans had even heard of, let alone voted for, as “morally repugnant.” This useful weapon to be used against the left can only be sustained by withholding a great number of key facts—chief among them, the US role in Venezuela’s devastation. US sanctions, according to the Venezuelan opposition’s economics czar, are responsible for a halving of the country’s oil output (FAIR.org, 12/17/18). The UN Human Rights Council has formally condemned the US and discussed reparations to be paid, with one UN special rapporteur describing Trump’s sanctions as a possible “crime against humanity” (London Independent, 1/26/19). This has not been reported by any the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN or any other national US “resistance” news outlet, which have been only too quick to support Trump’s regime change plans (FAIR.org, 1/25/19). Likewise, the local US-backed opposition’s role in the economic crisis is barely mentioned. The opposition, which controls much of the country’s food supply, has officially accepted responsibility for conducting an “economic war” by withholding food and other key goods. For example, the monolithic Empresas Polar controls the majority of the flour production and distribution crucial for making arepa cornbread, Venezuela’s staple food. Polar’s chair is Leopoldo Lopez, national coordinator of Juan Guaidó’s Popular Will party, while its president is Lorenzo Mendoza, who considered running for president against Maduro in the 2018 elections that caused pandemonium in the media (FAIR.org, 5/23/18). Conspicuously, it’s the products that Polar has a near-monopoly in that are often in shortest supply. This is hardly a secret, but never mentioned in the copious stories (CNN, 5/14/14, Bloomberg, 3/16/17, Washington Post, 5/22/17, NPR, 4/7/17) focusing on bread lines in the country. Also rarely commented on was the fact that multiple international election observer missions declared the 2018 elections free and fair, and that Venezuelan government spending as a proportion of GDP (often considered a barometer of socialism) is actually lower than the US’s, and far lower than most of Europe’s, according to the conservative Heritage Foundation. The LondonDaily Express(2/3/19) demonstrates that redbaiting works equally well on either side of the Atlantic. Regardless of these bothersome facts, the media has continued to present Venezuela’s supposedly socialist dictatorship as solely responsible for its crisis as a warning to any progressives who get the wrong idea. So useful is this tool that it is being used to attack progressive movements around the world. The Daily Express (2/3/19) and Daily Mail (2/3/19) condemned UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for his “defense” of a “dictator,” while the Daily Telegraph(2/3/19) warned that the catastrophe of Venezuela is Labour’s blueprint for Britain. Meanwhile, the Greek leftist party Syriza’s support for Maduro (the official position of three-quarters of UN member states) was condemned as “shameful” (London Independent, 1/29/19). “Venezuela” is also used as a one-word response to shut down debate and counter any progressive idea or thought. While the panel on ABC’s The View (7/23/18) discussed progressive legislation like Medicare for All and immigration reform, conservative regular Meghan McCain responding by invoking Venezuela: “They’re starving to death” she explained, leaving the other panelists bemused. President Trump has also used it. In response to criticism from Senator Elizabeth Warren over his “Pocahontas” jibe, he replied that she would “make our country into Venezuela” (Reuters, 10/15/18). The weapon’s effectiveness can only be sustained through a media in lockstep with the government’s regime-change goals. That the media is fixated on the travails of a relatively small and unimportant country in America’s “backyard,” and that the picture of Venezuela is so shallow, is not a mistake. Rather, the simplistic narrative of a socialist dictatorship starving its own people provides great utility as a weapon for the establishment to beat back the domestic “threat” of socialism, by associating movements and figures such as Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jeremy Corbyn with an evil caricature they have carefully crafted.
Corporate Propaganda Blitz Against Venezuela’s Elected President: MSM Will Not Let Facts Interfere With Coup Agenda
Facts Don’t Interfere With Propaganda Blitz Against Venezuela’s Elected PresidentJoe Emersberger Guaidó, anointed by Trump and a new Iraq-style Coalition of the Willing, did not even run in Venezuela’s May 2018 presidential election. In fact, shortly before the election, Guaidó was not even mentioned by the opposition-aligned pollster Datanálisis when it published approval ratings of various prominent opposition leaders. Henri Falcón, who actually did run in the election (defying US threats against him) was claimed by the pollster to basically be in a statistical tie for most popular among them. It is remarkable to see the Western media dismiss this election as “fraudulent,” without even attempting to show that it was “stolen“ from Falcón. Perhaps that’s because it so clearly wasn’t stolen. Graph: Approval Ratings of Main Venezuelan Leaders Nov 2016 - July 2018 Data from the opposition-aligned pollsters in Venezuela (via Torino Capital) indicates that Henri Falcón was the most popular of the major opposition figures at the time of the May 2018 presidential election. Nicolás Maduro won the election due to widespread opposition boycotting and votes drawn by another opposition candidate, Javier Bertucci. The constitutional argument that Trump and his accomplices have used to “recognize” Guaidó rests on the preposterous claim that Maduro has “abandoned” the presidency by soundly beating Falcón in the election. Caracas-based journalist Lucas Koerner took apart that argument in more detail. What about the McClatchy-owned Miami Herald's claim that Maduro “continues to reject international aid”? In November 2018, following a public appeal by Maduro, the UN did authorize emergency aid for Venezuela. It was even reported by Reuters (11/26/18), whose headlines have often broadcast the news agency’s contempt for Maduro’s government. It’s not unusual for Western media to ignore facts they have themselves reported when a major “propaganda blitz” by Washington is underway against a government. For example, it was generally reported accurately in 1998 that UN weapons inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq ahead of air strikes ordered by Bill Clinton, not expelled by Iraq’s government. But by 2002, it became a staple of pro-war propaganda that Iraq had expelled weapons inspectors (Extra! Update, 10/02). And, incidentally, when a Venezuelan NGO requested aid from the UN-linked Global Fund in 2017, it was turned down. Setting aside how effective foreign aid is at all (the example of Haiti hardly makes a great case for it), it is supposed to be distributed based on relative need, not based on how badly the US government wants somebody overthrown. But the potential for “aid” to alleviate Venezuela’s crisis is negligible compared to the destructive impact of US economic sanctions. Near the end of the Miami Herald article, author Jim Wyss cited an estimate from the thoroughly demonized Venezuelan government that US sanctions have cost it $30 billion, with no time period specified for that estimate. Again, this calls to mind the run-up to the Iraq invasion, when completely factual statements that Iraq had no WMDs were attributed to the discredited Iraqi government. Quoting Iraqi denials supposedly balanced the lies spread in the media by US officials like John Bolton, who now leads the charge to overthrow Maduro. Wyss could have cited economists independent of the Maduro government on the impact of US sanctions—like US economist Mark Weisbrot, or the emphatically anti-Maduro Venezuelan economist Francisco Rodríguez. Illegal US sanctions were first imposed in 2015 under a fraudulent “state of emergency” declared by Obama, and subsequently extended by Trump. The revenue lost to Venezuela’s government due to US economic sanctions since August 2017, when the impact became very easy to quantify, is by nowwell over $6 billion. That’s enormous in an economy that was only able to import about $11 billion of goods in 2018, and needs about $2 billion per year in medicines. Trump’s “recognition” of Guaidó as “interim president” was the pretext for making the already devastating sanctions much worse. Last month, Francisco Rodríguez revised his projection for the change in Venezuela’s real GDP in 2019, from an 11 percent contraction to 26 percent, after the intensified sanctions were announced. The $20 million in US “aid” that Wyss is outraged Maduro won’t let in is a rounding error compared to the billions already lost from Trump’s sanctions. Former US Ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield, who pressed for more sanctions on Venezuela, dispensed with the standard “humanitarian” cover that US officials have offered for them (Intercept, 2/10/19):
And if we can do something that will bring that end quicker, we probably should do it, but we should do it understanding that it’s going to have an impact on millions and millions of people who are already having great difficulty finding enough to eat, getting themselves cured when they get sick, or finding clothes to put on their children before they go off to school. We don’t get to do this and pretend as though it has no impact there. We have to make the hard decision—the desired outcome justifies this fairly severe punishment.
Questions on fiscal prudence that we should all be asking our central government.
Please add on as you deem fit. Immediately below are those that seem necessary to me. 1) Real Fiscal Deficit Numbers: The fiscal deficit number and target shared in the budget presentation did not take into account independent lending by govt orgs such as, Food Corporation of India: Has been borrowing for the last 3 years. Has not been paid by the govt during this time. While FCI has released some figures, what is the total amount it has borrowed? Same with orgs such as NABARD, PFC, Fertilizer corp, and so many other that we don't even know about. 2) Real financial state of orgs like LIC, National Small Savings Fund: These are the orgs that fund the loans of the govt as well as Food Corp, Fertilizer Corp etc. What do their respective balance sheets truly look like? How much money did LIC really lend to banks and NBFIs over the years, that is now considered NPA? 3) RBI related questions: As the RBI had increased SLR (CRR for that matter) requirements for commercial banks, and policy dictated that (public) banks store that money in govt securities; can the govt tell us how much this total amount is? And why it forces banks to behave this way? And more broadly, does the govt understand that forcing banks to park their money this way, and simultaneously crowding out private lending by taking such huge loans from govt orgs and banks; is an important part of why successive RBI interest cuts have no meaningful impact in reducing commercial rate for lending? 4) Another RBI question: The RBI continues to build up its forex reserves. (approx $471 Billion as of last week); even though multiple experts (including some RBI folk) have said that beyond a point, trying to use reserves to stem a money outflow will be futile. Many have said that around 450 billion is already beyond sufficient in our current situation. And, not allowing for natural adjustment/strengthening of the Rupee right now may lead to risky situations if the global outlook does turn negative. Rupee continues to be a Last Money In, First Money Out segment for more foreign investors, and is the govt prepared to risk a SE Asia-like currency crises, just so that the RBI has more reserves, a part of which the govt can quietly gobble up?
Yes, China is Hoarding Gold: Is That Positive for Prices?
In mid-2015, China ended years of speculation over its gold reserves by announcing that it had 1,658 tons of gold. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) had increased its official gold holdings by 60% since its last disclosure in 2009. China had 1,054 tons of gold in its reserves as of April 2009. By 2015, the price of bullion had dipped to its lowest since the 2011 gold bull run that pushed the metal to highs of $1,900 per ounce. The East Asian economic giant had been accumulating gold as the USD strengthened, pushing the prices of bullion to some of the lowest levels of the decade. China is an export powerhouse and is not only the world’s largest exporter but also the largest holder of foreign exchange (forex) reserves. The country has over $3.11 trillion worth of foreign exchange holdings, to shield it during economic emergencies. These vast forex reserves also buoy its native currency and give it much-needed clout in international affairs. These immense reserves increase the footprint of the US dollar in international trade. Its dollar reserves have also been a significant contributor to the current global savings glut. The Chinese manufacturing sector holds a lot of US government bonds, and these savings — plus those made by other Asian countries — have directed mass capital flows to US households. Beijing has, however, clarified that it is diversifying its reserves away from the dollar. Beijing is highly exposed to American currency. Its overdependence on the dollar has been behind its silent gold-buying spree that raised its reserves from 1,658 tons in 2015 to 1,848.31 tons by the fourth quarter of 2019. Economists note that China’s bid to decouple from the dollar heightened with the China-US trade war. The US threatened not only Chinese stocks listed in the US with delisting, but slapped massive tariffs on their exports. China, on the other hand, used its dollar-pegged currency, the Yuan, to fight back against the US’s punitive measures.
China Diversifying its Forex Reserves
In August, the PBOC allowed the Yuan’s value to fall against the dollar to cheapen its exports. The move increased the prices of American goods, a move that not only caused a massive shockwave in the market but also angered the US president so much that he called China an outright currency manipulator. Besides diversifying to other currencies, China has also accumulated “shadow reserves.” Diversification away from the USD will also give the Yuan a more significant role in global finance. It is this Chinese desire to counteract a highly US dollar-centric system that has seen the country buy up massive amounts of gold as part of its alternative investments. One factor that has gone almost unnoticed is the massive accumulation of gold by Chinese citizens. They have collectively imported over 12,000 tons of gold into the country since 2009. Switzerland is the world’s largest importer of gold, buying about 22% of all global gold imports as per 2018 data. It is closely followed by China, which raked in close to 16% of all gold imports in the same year. Hong Kong, India, and the United Kingdom are also part of the world’s biggest gold-buyer markets. Switzerland might be a global leader in gold imports, but it is also the largest exporter of the premier precious metal. The central European country is a gold refinery hub, and it is home to four of the world’s largest gold refineries. The mountainous country is home to Newmont Mining’s Valcambi SA, which refines close to 1,400 metric tonnes of the precious metal every year. Switzerland is such an exporter of gold that of the 3,100 tons of the yellow metal produced in the country in 2016, 2,716 tons went to exports.
China Keeps Most of its Gold
China is the world’s second-largest importer of gold, but unlike Switzerland, most of the gold China imports remain in China. As an illustration, China imported $64 billion worth of gold in 2016, and only exported a paltry $1.2 billion worth of it. In essence, China was $62.7 billion richer by the end of that year. The East Asian nation not only stores its imports but also buys a large share from Hong Kong, the fifth most prolific importer of the precious metal. The Pearl of the Orient bought 842 tons or 8.7% of the world’s gold imports in 2016. In that year, Hong Kong sold 1,337 tons to China, dipping its hands into its reserves in its bid to meet the insatiable Chinese demand for gold. The Chinese have not always had it easy with gold. Mao Zedong banned the individual purchase of gold, and the ban was enforced for decades afterward. The Chinese bank was the only buyer of gold in the country, and it only allocated its gold reserves to a small number of state-owned jewelers. In the early 2000s, the ban on individual gold purchases was lifted, and the Chinese gold rush began in earnest. The world’s busiest physical gold exchange was launched and opened to the public, flourishing as the government put measures in place that encouraged the gold trade. This excitement and clamor for gold moved a lot of gold from western vaults to the east as the most massive movement of gold recorded in recent history took place. Since then, the Chinese demand for gold takes 14% of the world’s supply, yet the country has been the largest producer of the yellow metal since 2007. The nation consumes over two times more gold than it mines with a large percentage of its citizens spending massive amounts of cash on gold adornments. Many Chinese millennials spend thousands of Yuan on fashionable jewelry. Their parents, on the other hand, buy 24-carat clunky gold jewelry, the perfect investment vehicle for that generation. The jewelry — evocative of gold ingots — is easy to sell and the money recouped when the need arises. They also buy matt ranges of gold jewelry, shunning tacky pure gold adornments for creative and lower carat gold designs.
Gold is a Safer Investment in a Debt-Ridden Global Economy
China has been a net importer of gold since the 1990s, but its significant purchases have increased since the global economic recession. The Chinese central bank — the supervisors of the Shanghai Gold Exchange — has encouraged the gold trade in the country by enabling the commerce of fine gold at its lowest spreads. Sun Zhaoxue, the China Gold Association president, has, in the past, said: “Individual investment demand is an essential component of China’s gold reserve system, and we should encourage individual investment demand for gold. Practice shows that gold possession by citizens is a useful supplement to national reserves and is very important to national financial security …. We should advocate to ‘store gold among the people’ [“People’s Gold”] and guide a healthy, positive development in this segment … This is the aim of our gold strategy.” She goes on to ask for a strategic national gold strategy to make China resilient against multiple economic occurrences. To this end, the Shanghai Gold Exchange has made tremendous steps in making the gold trade as easy as possible, even launching an app to aid it. China’s centuries-old infatuation with gold has led them to accumulate over 20,000 tons of gold because the People’s Bank of China does not buy gold from the domestic market. Consequently, all the gold that is purchased by the Chinese stays in the local market. Pundits also believe that the Chinese central bank holds more gold than its official reserve numbers portray. The economic giant underreports its gold holdings to enable it to accumulate more of the precious metal at lower prices. As China slowly delinks from a USD that has already lost its value due to prevailing high debt to GDP ratios globally, it stands out as one nation prepping for an oncoming economic catastrophe that could inevitably lift prices. The World Bank has already issued a warning that the current wave of debt is untenable. Global debt percentages now exceed 322% of GDP. Central banks have pushed the global economy to the brink due to easing policies meant to stimulate economic activity. Unfortunately, they find themselves intertwined in a broadening circle of money printing activities, which will eventually lead to extreme inflation. The management of inflation means that real rates will keep falling, and gold values will keep rising. In debt-ridden financial systems, he who holds the gold makes the rules. And China is ready to step up.
India should reclaim POK in the eminent face of bankruptcy faced by Pakistan
Pakistan faces it's worst economic situation sinces decades. Their Forex reserves is less than $10 billion which can barely pay imports of few weeks. Currently, Pakistan is facing blacklisting from FTFF which would mean decrease in foreign investments and borrowings. IMF is sceptical to give major loans considering the loan is being used to repay Chinese debt. The $6 billion IMF loan is conditional and uncertain. Their economy cannot support retaliation. It's not feasible for India to go into full blown war while we should aim for reclaiming our lost territories in kashmir. While it may have negative impact on the Indian economy but on the long term prospects this is a boon for India. This would prevent China's reach in the Indian Ocean if we block the CPEC route. India spent US$52 billion in 2018 for defense budget which is poised to increase in years to come. If we add the cumulative for the next 10 yrs, we would be spending more than $600 billion (adjusted to inflation) in defense budget. It's terrible that this amount could have been used in infrastructure, health, technology, agriculture is being used to fight against Pakistan. If we manage to get POK, it would give us strategic and morale victory while simultaneously reduce our future defence budgets by fractions. Let's have a constructive debate, no need for expletives.
While I am writing this today,on 9th Sep 2018, a litre of petrol now costs Rs. 80.50 in New Delhi, Rs. 83.39 in Kolkata, Rs. 87.89 in Mumbai, and Rs. 83.66 in Chennai, according to IOC's website. A litre of diesel costs Rs. 72.61 in New Delhi - the highest ever. In Kolkata, diesel is priced at Rs. 75.46/ litre, in Mumbai Rs. 77.09/ litre, and Rs. 76.75/ litre in Chennai. Some are cursing the Govt. and saying that same people protested against rising prices when they were in opposition and during UPA there was not too much price hike even when crude oil prices increased exponentially. Correct folks!! but what were the conditions that make both protest two completely different scenario..here we do mistake in checking it. There are some points which are to be considered before starting this blame game. Blame no.1: Price hike was not as much by UPA even if the Global Oil prices were rising. Fact: Manmohan Singh lead UPA Govt. wanted to have lesser impact of rising crude oil prices on common people so they did two things: (a) Raised almost 1.44 lakh crore rupees in terms Oil bonds to majorly bypass the impact of increasing crude oil prices and to lower the losses of oil companies (b) modest increase of 3-5 Rs in Petrol/Diesel prices. Even ex PM Manmohan Singh said that they are not doing right thing as someone has to repay the bonds.This is what PM Dr. Manmohan Singh said in his address to the nation on Jun 4, 2008. "My Fellow Citizens, I know that the price increases we have had to announce today will not be popular, even though they are only modest. You must remember that the Government is bearing the burden of issuing oil bonds. Our oil companies are making a large sacrifice and are under severe stress. However, I would like the nation to remember that issuing bonds and loading deficits on oil companies is not a permanent solution to this problem. ***We are only passing on our burden to our children who will have to repay this debt.***Cutting down on the returns of our oil companies will choke a sector vital for the growth of the economy. We need more corrective measures in future on many fronts. In the long term, our country must have a sound strategy for energy security." Link: Prime Minister of India - Dr. Manmohan Singh May be they issued these oil bonds as as burden on the country as they knew that they are not going to pay this enromous amount as they were not going to re-elected being the most corrupted Govt, the country has ever seen. Same money has been repaid by PM Narendra Modi led NDA Govt along with interest of 70K Crore that too from the foreign reserves of this Govt. During NDA one year central excise collection is almost 2-3 lakh crore so almost an year tax collection has been used for repayment of oil bonds. The strict spending and zero corruption of Modi government enabled this. link: Govt repaid over Rs 2 lakh cr on account of oil bonds taken: Pradhan Blame no.2: Govt. didn't passed benefit of reduced crude oil prices to consumers instead it increased Central Excise & State VAT. Fact: Crude Oil prices fell considerably after 2014 but Govt. didn't passed this benefit to common people as it wanted to inculcate the habit of financial discipline in economy. Govt. used additional tax collection from Cebtral Excise wisely to fuel it's Capital intensive projects to Sagarmala (Port), Bharatmala (Roads) and to boost Waterways and Airport connectivity. Along with this various social-securiy schemes were running be it PMJJY, PMSBY, Ujjwala Yojana (Free LPG connection to poor families) which already marked 5 Cr beneficiary, Ujala (LED distribution) which marked almost 30 Cr LED bulbs (upto 9th September 2018) distributed resulted in savings of 16000 Cr savings and reduced peak load demand, Jan-dhan account for financial inclusion of every household, PM Jan-Aushadi Kendra where one can purchase generic medicine instead of branded high value medicines and last but not the least 'AysushMaan Bharat' which will be milstone in healthcare as it will provide Medi-claim facility up to 5 lakhs for 50 Cr people of poor households. So ultimately the benefit of reduced crude oil prices passed to the person who is standing in the last line...the real execution of 'Antyodaya Concept' by Pandit Deen dayal Upadhyaya. Blame no.3: Same people who were protesting earlier for increased oil prices are now in Govt and not saying anything.. hypocrisy?? Fact: When I say that this Govt. is inculcating financial discipline in the ecomomy, there are reasons. While there is too much investment by the Govt in new Capital intensive and social security schemes along with running old schemes like MANREGA and food security scheme which act as a big subsidy based schemes, India Current Account Deficit (CAD) has decreased instead of increasing. Currently CAD is in the range of 2-3% of GDP during NDA compared to nearly 4-5% of GDP during UPA. Isn't it a good thing? Here Govt. shown that how to use favorable situations for benefit of the country. UPA OR NDA: Who's better for the economy? - Times of India UPA govt were having high deficit, unpaid oil bonds, gulped over 20 Lakh crore rupees in Scams ( Coal Scam was itself around 10 lakh crore) and they doomed the economy, this is how it is different from the protest of opposition at that time. All things are in India's favour be it inflation, FDI, Forex reserves, GDP as on today except falling Rupee which is due to US-China trade war and Increasing Crude Oil prices, over which Govt should take some serious actions. Do you want a Govt which gives you subsidies in terms of freebies and at the backdoor it takes away all the benefits in terms of increased financial burden of fiscal deficit and ultimately putting interest burden on Indian govt to repay it ? This is the real question. Is it your money going to scams like previous one?, NO, it is returning to the society ultimately!! This Govt is doing what it right for the country and not for appeasing people for vote bank politics. As 2019 will come near people will try their best to defame the good work by false allegations. Don't be a fool, use your rationality, analyse the conditions before accepting the allegations as it is.
-Pakistan to host ‘AdAsia – Asian Advertising Congress’ this year In a logo unveiling ceremony held at Faletti’s Hotel Lahore, on Sunday, it was revealed that AdAsia 2019 —Asian Advertising Congress is going to be held in Pakistan this year. AdAsia is the largest and most prestigious advertising congress in Asia, organized bi-annually by the Asian Federation of Advertising Associations (AFAA). The AdAsia 2019 Congress will be held in Lahore at the Lahore International Expo Centre from December 3 to 5. The theme for the Congress is ‘Celebrasian: Celebration of Advertising and Creativity in Asia’. -IDB to lend Pakistan oil worth $4.5 bn The spokesperson for the Ministry of Finance on Saturday claimed that the Saudi-backed Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) will lend Pakistan oil worth $4.5 billion. “The IsDB will lend Pakistan oil worth $4.5 billion over three years. The oil will be lent in three installments of $1.5 billion each every year,” the spokesperson added. The Ministry of Finance spokesperson further said that in the first phase they have received oil worth $100 million and oil worth $270 million will be lent in the second phase. “We are also in talks with the IsDB regarding lending of liquefied natural gas (LNG),” the spokesperson added. -Economic revival: PTI government relief package earns Rs 125 billion immediately The federal government’s relief package for the stock market in the ‘Mini-budget’ on January 23 has brought positive impact. KSE-100 index settled at 40,254 points with a rise of 958 points within one week. The business-friendly concessions including abolition of the advance tax of 0.02pc on share trading under Presumptive Tax Regime and super tax in the mini-budget have been welcomed by the stockbrokers and industrialists altogether. -69 women constables complete elite commando training in K-P Over 7,000 personnel of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) police, including 69 women constables, have successfully completed a grueling Elite Commando Training Course. As per a statement issued by K-P police’s public relations, the police personnel completed training in 15 basic courses conducted at different training centres. Most policemen, including the women constables, voluntarily opted for the tough four-month long course. The communique also said another batch of women commandos is currently being trained and shall soon be elevated to the rank of elite commandos. -Karachi police chief makes surprise visits, suspends four police officials In a surprise move, Additional Inspector General Police Dr Amir Shaikh on Saturday visited different areas of the city, disguising himself as a common citizen to witness the performance the police force. A police spokesperson said that the Karachi police chief suspended four police officials, including two ASIs over violation of duty rules and harassing public. He said that the police officials were found harassing people instead of controlling traffic at MT Khan Road in Sultanabad. The officials were from Jackson and Sultanabad police stations, said the spokesperson and added that the police chief had directed SP Traffic city and DSP to submit report over the issue. In-charges of Jackson and Sultanabad police stations along with record keepers were also summoned by the AIG Dr Amir Shaikh, said the spokesperson. -In a historical move, Pakistan elected as Vice Chair of Asia Pacific Ministerial Forum Pakistan was elected as the vice chair at the third UN Environment’s Forum of Ministers and Environment Authorities of Asia Pacific that was held in Singapore from January 23 till January 25. The newswas revealed in a tweet by Adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam. He said Pakistan got elected to the position owing to the country’s ‘sincere and dedicated’ environment preservation endeavours. -Pakistan Army achieves historic milestone on Pakistan Afghanistan border fencing Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor Sunday said work on about 900 kilometer fence along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border had been completed. Briefing a team of journalists and anchor-persons at Ghulam Khan, a bordering village in North Waziristan Agency,he said the work on erection of about 1200 km chunk, the most sensitive portion out of the total 2600 km long border with the neighbouring country, had commenced last year. Zero Point is the entry and exit point of Pakistan from Afghanistan where a formal border post was constructed last year Major Gen Asif Ghafoor said the project would cost about Rs 70 billion, which also included the cost of gadgets and surveillance equipment to keep strict vigil on the illicit movement from across the border. He said the fence had amply helped check the movement of terrorists from across the border and it would further assist after completion of the project which was expected to culminate next year. The visit of media-persons was conducted for the first time in the country's history as no such activity could have happened as all the area had been “no go area” for the civilians or even by the security forces themselves. -Foreign Media representatives visit North Waziristan, stunned with Pakistan Army successes against terrorism Local and foreign media representatives on Sunday visited Peshawar, Miranshah, and Ghulam Khan Border terminals along with Director General ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor for the first time after military operations. It was the first direct interaction of the media with local people, who while standing in Miranshah Bazar, talked to reporters about improved peace situation and administrative issues in the area. They lauded Pakistan Army for its efforts in restoring peace and development. -Pakistan Cement Exports register significant rise in first half of FY 2018 - 19 The export of cement from the country witnessed increase of 32.4 percent during first half of current fiscal year as compared to same period of last year. The export of the commodity increased to $157 million in July-December (2018-19) against the export worth of $118.586 million in sameperiod of last year, a latest data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) said. In term of quantity, the cement export recorded 55.52 percent increase to 3.671 million Metric Ton (MT) during the period under review as compared to export of 2.36 million MT cement during same period of previous year. On year-on-year basis, the cement export jumped by 78.02 percent to $25.89 million in December 2018 from $14.54 million of cement export during December 2017, the data revealed. The overall export of goods during first half of current fiscal year recorded an increase of 2.19 percent to $11.216 billion against the exports of $10.976 billion recorded during same period of last year. -KP Tourism. Potential stuns audience at International Tourism Fair in Europe A large number of visitors, tourists and investors thronged the stall of Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) at the tourism trade fair at Feria de Madrid, Spain, and showed keen interest in the KP’s tourism potential. The TCKP team highlighted salient features of the cultural and tourist resorts through video documentaries, pictures, brochures and posters. The visitors were informed that 70 percent of tourist resorts were located in KP and the foreign tourists can now visit any place without any restriction and obtaining Non-Objection Certificate. The KP participation in fair encouraged the international tour operators to bring cultural and mountaineering expeditions to the province, which will highlight Pakistan as one of the best tourist destinations for international tourists. -Foundation stone laid for $200 million knowledge city in Pakistan, first ever in County's history Prime Minister Imran Khan Sunday inaugurated the first academic block of the NAMAL Knowledge City. The vision behind Namal Knowledge City is to create a hub of knowledge exchange and research in Mianwali. The Knowledge City will include academic blocks, a knowledge center, a sports complex, sports grounds, a hospital, technology parks, business centers, shopping malls, a dairy farm, a resort, software houses, hotels, a primary school, and a housing colony for the faculty. A total of US$ 200 million will be spent on the construction of the Knowledge City which will be built on the concept of a zero carbon foot print and completed by the year 2027. It will have a population of 11,000 with construction spread over 4 million square feet. It will accommodate 7,000 students with 600 faculty members. -E Rozgar Programme launched, Click for Registration The Punjab IT Board and Ministry of Youth Affairs has jointly launched a three-month free E-Rozgar Training Programe for the youth, aimed at imparting vocational training to the jobless, enabling them to earn their livelihood honourably. In this regard, the admission has started for enrollment in these technical courses and the last date for the on-line registration is the 9th of the next month. The requisites of getting admission include that the applicant should have an NCIC, his minimum age 16, maximum age 35 and should be jobless. -Pakistan China ink deal worth billions of dollars today: Report A Chinese company will invest billion of dollars in mineral exploration and processing projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. A Memorandum of Understanding in this regard has been signed in China today. According to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Mineral Development Dr. Amjad Ali, the Chinese company will setup mineral industrial park in Rashakai Special Economic Zone. -Pakistan's NESPAK completes 3,900 mega projects in Pakistan and across 37 countries of World worth Rs 19,000 billions National Engineering Services Pakistan (NESPAK) has successfully completed 3,900 development projects within Pakistan and 37 in other countries with an accumulative cost of Rs 19,000 billion since its establishment, 45 years ago. NESPAK Managing Director Dr. Tahir Masood told media here Saturday that foreign countries where NESPAK has extended engineering consultancy services were mostly located in the Middle East, Far East, Central Asia and Africa. In this way, he added, NESPAK had placed the country on the export map of the world and was committed to provide multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy services with the highest level of professionalism and dedication. -Government launches Dominted Bank bond PTI government is launching yet another economic initiative for overseas Pakistanis to attract billions of dollars for balance of payment and enhancing reserves. PTI government is launching dollar-denominated diaspora bond named Pakistan Banao Certificate (PBC) on January 31st. The diaspora bond is being launched to take advantage of international savings of overseas Pakistani’s and bolstering its foreign exchange reserves. According to details shared by the Finance Minister Asad Umar , the certificates would be of two types, one of three years offering 6.25% return and the other with five-year maturity offering 6.75% return. Mr Umar said four banks had been selected to complete the transactions. -Rupee hits seven-week high at 138.78 Pakistani currency has recovered to a seven-week high at Rs138.78 against the US dollar in inter-bank market on Friday, according to the State Bank of Pakistan, after the country successfully mitigated the risk of default following receipt of $2 billion from friendly countries. Simultaneously, the rupee revived to a four-week high at retail market to 139 against the greenback on Saturday, according to a forex website. “The $2 billion inflows from the UAE and Saudi Arabia (on Thursday and Friday) has partially eased the panic at currency markets,” said a banker on condition of anonymity. -PM Imran discusses major proposals to revive PIA As Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) struggles to rein in mounting losses, Prime Minister Imran Khan discussed major proposals presented at a high-level meeting to turn around the financially troubled national flag carrier. The prime minister chaired the meeting at the PM Office earlier this month, which was attended by top cabinet members, civil bureaucracy and military officers. The premier directed the authorities to arrange additional guarantees of Rs15 billion as interim relief for PIA. A proposal was endorsed to freeze PIA’s outstanding dues, amounting to over Rs80 billion, which were payable to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) along with late payment surcharge, according to minutes of the meeting available with The Express Tribune. -World Bank releases $58m for house financing The World Bank has disbursed $58 million for house financing in Pakistan and the federal cabinet has approved the transfer of the fund to Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company (PMRC). “It ($58 million – Rs7.8 billion) is a World Bank credit line for PMRC,” PMRC Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mudassir Hussain Khan told The Express Tribune. “The cabinet has approved the transfer of the fund. It will take around a week to 10 days before the money reaches PMRC account.” -Talks between Pakistan, China for FTA to begin next month Federal Secretary for Trade, Younus Dagha has said that the talks between Pakistan and China for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will commence next month. Talking to a delegation of the Trade Development Authority’s officials in Lahore, he expressed optimism that the new trade agreement with China will help thrive national economy and would be in the best interests of both the friendly countries. “The trade deficit of Pakistan has decreased by five per cent during the incumbent government and our exports are increasing day by day.” He said the expansion of the trade volume with India depends on the decisions of the governments of both the countries. He informed that trade with Afghanistan is also improving. -Amended finance bill to reduce cost of doing business: PEW The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said the recently amended finance bill will reduce the cost of doing business which in turn, will reduce the prices of many items. The move will support businesses and help exporters regain ground in the international market as the government has reduced and abolished several taxes to lift economic activities, it said. The government will lose almost seven billion rupees in revenue but it will gain more in the shape of foreign exchange, said PEW President Dr. Murtaza Mughal. He said the recommendations will be applicable from the next fiscal term but it has already elevated business sentiments as many leading business groups are planning to boost investments. -Economic reforms help PSX gain 958 points in week The benchmark KSE-100 index accelerated by 958 points in the outgoing week and settled at 40,265 points, providing a weekly return of 2.44pc, owing to improved sentiment on account of the economic reforms package announced by the government. The Finance Supplementary (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 was broadly focused on improving ease of doing business, incentivizing export-oriented/industrial sectors and elimination of domestic growth hampering impediments. A key demand from the stock market to abolish the advance tax of 0.02pc was accepted, while the government also allowed capital losses to be carried forward for three years, thereby impacting the investor sentiment positively. -Govt to announce medium-term economic framework in coming week: Hammad Azhar The Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar on Friday said the government will announce a medium-term economic framework in the coming week. The forthcoming medium-term economic framework will bring measures that will enhance exports and investments, said Azhar while speaking at a seminar on “Economic Reforms: Way forward”, organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), reports an English daily. He shared the government is moving towards execution a direct taxation regime whilst gradually restricting indirect taxes. Mr Azhar underlined that the supplementary budget which was announced on Wednesday didn’t target fiscal and monetary measures but was an economic reforms package to resuscitate and enhance growth and investment. -Economic reforms package to help boost exports, trade and investment State Minister for Revenue Hamad Azhar on Friday said that economic reforms package announced by the PTI government will help in boosting exports, trade and investment. Talking to a private news channel, he said the economic reforms package will prove to be helpful in overcoming the trade and fiscal deficit. Mr Azhar said due to effective economic policies of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, the international investors are desirous of investment in Pakistan. The government is taking many steps for the revival and betterment of the economy, he added. -Tale as old as time: Labyrinth of tunnels discovered under Lahore Fort A labyrinth of underground tunnels, as well as hidden basements, has been discovered under Lahore Fort. Immortalised in short stories, these passages have always been hidden from the naked eye. However, during excavation, the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) has discovered two underground tunnels and an arsenal which are currently under restoration. A symbol of the opulence of the Mughals, Lahore Fort has kept many a secret for hundreds of years; secrets which are now slowly being revealed. During excavation and restoration work, WCLA recently discovered a passage of underground tunnels which run underneath the fortress. This has caused tourists, hungry for information on the underground tunnels, to throng to the citadel and present their own theories on how the passages were used. -Indonesia, Pakistan ties poised for a quantum leap, says envoy Counsellor and head of cultural section Embassy of Republic of Indonesia Deny Tri Basuki has said Indonesia and Pakistan share strong socio-cultural and religious bond rooted in history. Pakistan and Indonesia stand proudly together as two of the largest Muslim populated countries and emerging economies of creative and talented people. He expressed these views on the occasion of a business gathering organised by tourism ministry of Indonesia in collaboration with the Indonesian embassy. A large number of stakeholders hailing from the travel and aviation industry of Pakistan attended the event. -Japanese aircraft take part in pre Aman-19 exercise The Pakistan Navy is hosting the 6th series of AMAN-19 – a Multinational Maritime Exercise – in February 2019 in Karachi, and two Japanese Naval P3C aircrafts of Deployed Maritime Force for Anti-Piracy Enforcement (DAPE) visited the PNS Mehran in Karachi for the pre-AMAN-19 exercise. According to a press statement issued by the navy’s Director General Public Relations (DGPR) on Saturday, the Japanese aircrew participated in various events including search and rescue (SAR) and counter piracy (CP) exercises along with the navy aircrew. The Japanese contingent also visited maritime and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) museums to learn about the historic achievements of the two forces. -‘Chinese, Russian firms keen to invest in PSM’ Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood revealed that three Chinese and three Russian firms have shown interest in investing in Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM). Addressing a ceremony held for the inauguration of International Steels Limited’s new plant, he said that the committee tasked with revival of PSM has drafted its recommendations and the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) will make a decision by March. -China has given Pakistan additional access to its market: Dawood Prime Minister’s Adviser for Trade and Industry Abdul Razzak Dawood on Saturday said the government is working to hammer out national industrial and tariff policies, ARY News reported. Dawood while talking to industrialists in Karachi, said that China has granted Pakistan an additional access to its market. “We are working to slash unnecessary imports and increase exports”. He said unnecessary items will be removed from shelves of super markets and precious foreign exchange will not be spent on such imports. The adviser said the government has taken effective steps to facilitate business in mini budget, which will be approved in next seven day. -Pakistani Teacher Shortlisted for Cambridge’s Most Dedicated Teacher Award Cambridge University Press has shortlisted a Pakistani teacher, Ahmed Saya, for the ‘Most Dedicated Teacher’ award. Ahmed Saya, an A-level teacher from Karachi, is one of the six brilliant minds around the world to be shortlisted for the prize. The competition included entries of 3500+ teachers from over 140 countries for the prestigious award. Cambridge’s official Twitter handle said it was a tough call, but they shortlisted six teachers for this year’s Dedicated Teacher Awards. -Swiss Investor to Open A Chain of Luxury Hotels in Pakistan Swiss International Hotels & Resorts is mulling to open a chain of its luxury hotels in different cities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). The President and CEO of Swiss International Hotels & Resorts, Henri (Hans) WR Kennedie informed this to Chief Minister KP Mahmood Khan during a meeting on Friday. During the meeting, Henri told CM Khan that they were already working on a plan to establish luxury hospitalities in various parts of the province.
Current account and forex reserve supporting Indian rupee: Ind-Ra Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], July 30 (ANI): Swelling of India’s foreign exchange reserves in combination with benign oil prices and tepid imports have led to a current account surplus and helped the Indian rupee to remain broadly stable since mid-March, India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) said on Thursday. India forex reserves jump $7.78 billion to record high of $568.49 billion: RBI In the previous week ended October 30, the reserves had increased by USD 183 million to USD 560.715 billion PTI ... The country's foreign exchange reserves swelled by $5.412 billion to touch an all-time high of $560.532 billion in the week ended October 23, RBI data showed on October 30. In the previous week ... The rising forex reserves give a lot of comfort to the government and the Reserve Bank of India in managing India’s external and internal financial issues at a time when the economic growth is set to contract by 1.5 per cent in 2020-21. It’s a big cushion in the event of any crisis on the economic front and enough to cover the import bill of the country for a year. The rising reserves have ... Prelims level : India's Forex reserves, SDR, Reserve tranche. Mains level : Forex Reserves and its significance. India’s foreign exchange reserves are rising and are slated to hit the $500 billion mark soon. In the last month, it jumped by $12.4 billion to an all-time high of $493.48 billion. Aspirants must make a note here: 1.Authority managing FOREX in India. 2.Components of FOREX. 3.IMF ... source: Reserve Bank of India. Foreign Exchange Reserves in India averaged 239317.46 USD Million from 1998 until 2020, reaching an all time high of 560720 USD Million in October of 2020 and a record low of 29048 USD Million in September of 1998. This page provides the latest reported value for - India Foreign Exchange Reserves - plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term ... Weekly Statistical Supplement WSS - Extract. 06 Nov 2020; Foreign Exchange Reserves: 9 kb: 189 kb: 30 Oct 2020; Foreign Exchange Reserves
India's forex reserves surge $5.4 billion to all-time high ...
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