Economic & Political Weekly 27-01-2019

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World

Politics-

·  Trump signs bill to reopen government for 3 weeks.

Late 25th January night, President Donald Trump signed a bill passed by Congress that officially reopens the federal government for three weeks while lawmakers negotiate border security funding with the president — ending the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. “I am very proud to announce today that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and reopen the federal government,” Trump said earlier, in a surprise development that thrilled hundreds of thousands of federal workers that have been toiling without pay for more than a month. The bill passed by Congress, includes no funding for the president’s long-sought border wall.

  • Venezuela crisis: How Turkey has become the staunchest defender of President Nicolas Maduro.

The US and Canada, and much of Latin America – with the exception of Mexico, Cuba and Bolivia – have lined up against the embattled Nicolas Maduro, now struggling to hang on as president of Venezuela. Russia – which has billions invested in the country – is the only world power that has come to its defense. But Mr Maduro has found an unlikely in Nato and G-20 member Turkey and its president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has pulled out all stops in voicing support for the government in Caracas. “Our president has called [Maduro] to express Turkey’s support,” Mr Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin wrote on Twitter.

·  Queen urges UK to find ‘common ground’ as Brexit crisis deepens.

Queen Elizabeth has sent a delicately coded message to Britain’s factious political class over Brexit, urging lawmakers to seek common ground and grasp the big picture to resolve the crisis. With the clock ticking down to March 29th, the date set in law for Britain to leave the European Union, the United Kingdom is in the deepest political crisis in half a century as it grapples with how, or even whether, to exit the European project it joined in 1973. While the queen (92) did not mention Brexit explicitly in an annual speech to her local Women’s Institute in Norfolk, the monarch said every generation faced “fresh challenges and opportunities.” “As we look for new answers in the modern age, I for one prefer the tried and tested recipes, like speaking well of each other and respecting different points of view; coming together to seek out the common ground; and never losing sight of the bigger picture,” the queen said.

·  France and Italy’s relationship is close to breaking point.

Historically and culturally, France and Italy are extremely close. Trade between the two countries represents a whopping €200 million daily. Yet relations between them have deteriorated almost to breaking point. The French foreign ministry summoned the Italian ambassador for a dressing down this week, after Luigi Di Maio, the leader of Italy’s populist Five Star Movement (M5S), as well as a deputy prime minister and minister for economic development, labor and social policy, blamed France for the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean. France’s ambassador to Rome was summoned in a similar fashion twice last year, when tempers frayed over a border incident and Italy’s refusal to allow the migrant ship Aquarius to dock. After several boats carrying migrants sank in the Mediterranean recently, claiming at least 170 lives, Mr Di Maio denounced French “hypocrisy” and “crocodile tears”.

·   Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi sworn in as Congo president.

Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi called for national reconciliation on 24th January as he became Democratic Republic of Congo’s president, succeeding Joseph Kabila in Congo’s first transfer of power via an election in 59 years of independence.“We want to build a strong Congo, turned toward its development in peace and security,” he said to cheers from thousands of supporters on the lawn of the presidential palace. Mr. Tshisekedi’s victory in the December 30th election was marred by accusations he struck a backroom deal with the outgoing president to deny victory to another opposition candidate, Martin Fayulu. Mr. Kabila and Mr. Tshisekedi’s camps reject those allegations.

·         Zimbabwe soldiers accused of beatings amid protest crackdown.

Soldiers beat people overnight on the streets of Zimbabwe’s capital and its second city, Bulawayo, residents said, hours after President Emmerson Mnangagwa promised to investigate a security service crackdown on anti-government protesters. There was no immediate comment from the military, which kept up patrols and checkpoints on Wednesday.

The president’s spokesman appeared to back the security services’ handling of protests which he described as a challenge to the state’s authority.“The state has an obligation to demonstrate that it exists to ensure law and order and that’s exactly what happened,” George Charamba told reporters. Last week he said the crackdown was a foretaste of what would happen to future demonstrations.

·         India’s Congress Party gets latest member of Gandhi dynasty.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the 47-year-old scion of India’s Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, has formally entered politics by joining the opposition Congress Party her family founded over 130 years ago. The move comes weeks ahead of the country’s impending general elections.

·  Malaysian royals elect new king after surprise abdication

Members of Malaysia’s royal families on 24th January elected Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah as the new king, following the unexpected abdication of the previous monarch. Sultan Abdullah (59), ruler of the central state of Pahang, will formally take over the throne on January 31st for a five-year term, the keeper of the rulers’ seal said in a statement.

· Colossal death toll in Yemen is compounded by cultural destruction.

Yemen’s humanitarian catastrophe has galvanized the international community to put pressure on the warring sides to cease fire and negotiate peace, reducing but not halting the conflict. During nearly four years of intervention by the Saudi-led coalition, more than 60,000 civilians have died and two-thirds of Yemen’s 28 million civilians are malnourished or on the brink of starvation. This goes along with immense loss and destruction of cultural buildings and heritage.

·   Angela Merkel pledges to fill new Franco-German treaty ‘with life’.

France and Germany have signed a new treaty they say will boost bilateral co-operation and provide added stability to a continent experiencing a rise of nationalist, populist politics. Four months before the European Parliament elections, and 16 months after French president Emmanuel Macron’s ambitious EU reform proposals at the Sorbonne, 22nd January response was as much about symbolism as content.

· Twenty feared dead in Black Sea blaze on Syria-linked tankers.

Twenty sailors are believed to have died in the Black Sea after a fire on two ships suspected of delivering Russian fuel to Syria despite US sanctions. Russian officials said the bodies of 10 crewmen were recovered and 10 sailors were missing, presumed dead, after flames engulfed the tankers on 21st January night, near the Crimean peninsula that Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

·  Afghanistan reels from Taliban attack on base that killed dozens.

Afghanistan was reeling from 21st January brazen Taliban assault on a military base in the country’s east that killed at least 45 people and wounded as many as 70, most of them military personnel, according to provincial officials. There were fears, however, that the death toll from the daytime assault on the base, which also serves as a training centre for a pro-government militia and is run by the country’s intelligence service, was even higher.

· Chinese scientist who edited genes is likely to face criminal charges.

He Jiankui, the Chinese scientist who made the world’s first genetically modified babies, is expected to face criminal charges after a government investigation found that he falsified ethical review documents. Dr He drew condemnation from scientists in China and abroad on ethical and safety grounds in November, when he revealed the birth of twins whose genes had been altered with the editing technique known as Crispr.

· Farewell to the 727, the ‘earth-trembling’ workhorse that brought air travel to millions.

One of the aircraft that introduced the fundamentals of modern comfort and convenience to millions of travelers has flown its last passenger service and now no more be used. The Boeing 727 might not have been responsible for the dawn of the jet age, but its record-breaking popularity in the Sixties and Seventies was testament to the sea change it helped force when it became the stalwart of some of the world’s largest airlines.

· Two drowned Saudi sisters committed suicide: US medical examiner

Two Saudi sisters whose bodies were found taped together on the banks of a New York river committed suicide, the city’s medical examiner said on 22nd January. Rotana Farea, 22, and her sister Tala, 16, were found beside the Hudson River in late October with no visible signs of trauma, dressed all in black, and in coats with fur-trimmed collars. They were tied together at the ankles and waist by duct tape. A witness reportedly saw the two young women early on October 24 on a playground near the Hudson, where they appeared to be praying. US media quoted police as saying the sisters had indicated that they would rather harm themselves than return to Saudi Arabia. The kingdom is one of the world’s most restrictive countries for women, a situation highlighted this month by the case of Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun.

· Operation Cobra: the untold story of how a CIA officer trained a network of agents who found the Soviet missiles in Cuba.

With having only a canoe Tom Hewitt, the agents’ case officer in the CIA’s huge Miami station waited for his word of the mission. Agency rules forbade him to take part in the team’s infiltration, but he felt a deep responsibility for the pair, a principal agent whom he had trained to manage a network of subagents, and his radio operator. It was Hewitt’s job to guide their actions from afar, now that they were back in their homeland. A 10-year veteran of the CIA, Hewitt had spent the previous six months teaching the principal agent everything he knew about how to run an effective espionage network, doing all he could to mitigate the substantial risks that the agent would have to take in Fidel Castro’s Cuba. The team’s mission was to establish a network that could be used to gather intelligence and, if necessary, to foment counterrevolution against the Castro regime. Getting rid of Castro was a high priority for the administration of President John F. Kennedy and for the CIA. Hewitt knew this was an important mission, but he could not have imagined that his team would soon play a vital role in preventing nuclear Armageddon. 

·   Earth’s Oldest Known Rock Was Found on the Moon.

A lot of the rocks we have on Earth are pretty old, but none of them were around when our planet was first formed. The Earth itself is around 4.5 billion years old, and the oldest rocks we’ve ever found are a little over half that age. That seems to have changed, however, because a group of scientists recently announced they’ve found a rock that formed only half a billion years after the Earth itself. The twist is that this particular rock wasn’t discovered on Earth at all. It was found on the moon.

  • India appointed a temporary finance minister late on 22nd January, just days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is due to present its final budget before looming elections.

India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will not present the government’s crucial interim budget next week because he is expected to undergo surgery, according to a source familiar with the matter. He has been replaced on an interim basis by railways and coal minister Piyush Goyal.  The announcement is a blow to Prime Minister Modi as Jaitley is widely regarded as one of Modi’s best communicators of policies ahead of a general election that must be held by May.

·  Venezuela’s opposition leader urges military to abandon Maduro.

Juan Guaidó, the man backed this week as Venezuela’s interim president by the US, has urged the country’s armed forces to “come over to the side of the people” to bring about fresh elections and a return to democracy. In his first public appearance since his dramatic challenge to President Nicolás Maduro on 23rd January, the de-facto opposition leader told hundreds of cheering supporters in a leafy square in the Caracas neighborhood of Chacao that they would eventually triumph.

· Seven bodies found, about 200 still missing in Brazil after dam fails.

Brazilian rescuers have found seven bodies of people swept away by a burst tailings dam and more are expected to be found, with about 200 people still missing, Brumadinho Mayor Avimar de Melo Barcelos told TV channel Globo News on 25th January. The owner of the iron ore mine, Vale SA, said 300 workers were in the area at the time of the disaster, mostly having lunch, and 100 have been accounted for so far.

· Foreign troops to quit Afghanistan in 18 months under draft deal: Taliban sources.

Taliban officials say U.S. negotiators on 26th January agreed on a draft peace pact setting out the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan within 18 months, potentially ending the United States’ longest war. The details of the draft were given by Taliban sources at the end of six days of talks with U.S. special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in Qatar aimed at ending the war, more than 17 years since American-led forces invaded Afghanistan. It stipulates that troops would leave within 18 months of the agreement being signed.

Economy-

·    Alibaba slams U.S. treatment of Huawei, efforts to curb China’s rise.

A senior Alibaba executive slammed the United States’ treatment of China’s Huawei Technologies as “extremely unfair”, saying measures by the country to curb the firm’s access to their markets was “very politically motivated”. He struck an optimistic note about China’s economy, saying it remained fundamentally strong despite a slowdown, and added that stimulus such as tax cuts needed to be imposed to prop it up even as it battles U.S. efforts to dent its businesses. Relations between Washington and Beijing have deteriorated rapidly amid a tit-for-tat escalation in tariffs that has roiled financial markets and raised fears over the impact on global supply chains and investment plans.

Alibaba has been previously critical of the trade war as well, with founder Jack Ma calling the spat the “most stupid thing in the world.” The company, which promised in 2017 to create a million U.S. jobs, backed out last year, blaming the trade war. Tsai said Alibaba will continue to invest aggressively despite the uncertain business environment. Asia’s second most valuable public company has been investing heavily in offline retail and rural e-commerce to win new customers as China’s urban market shows signs of saturation.

·    Gold soars to over seven-month high as dollar falls ahead of Fed meet.

Gold jumped over 1 percent to a more than seven-month high on  25th January briefly surpassing the $1,300 mark, as the dollar slid ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting next week where the central bank is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged. Spot gold rose 1.4 percent to $1,298.93 per ounce as of 11:41 am ET (1641 GMT), having earlier touched a peak of $1,300.30, its highest since June 15, 2018. The metal was on course for its best week in four. U.S. gold futures climbed 1.5 percent to $1,298.30 per ounce.

“The major catalyst supporting gold is a big drop in the dollar, amid expectations the Fed will reiterate a pause to its hiking cycle next week,” said Fawad Razaqzada, an analyst with Forex.com. Gold tends to appreciate on expectations of lower interest rates, which reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. “There are also some rumors that the Fed is backing off their quantitative tightening program, which would mean they are going dovish. This would in turn mean a probable end of rate hikes in 2019, which would be supportive for gold,” said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.

·   Chinese Economy Growing at Its Slowest Pace since 1990.

China’s economy grew 6.6% last year, according to official data released on 21st January — its slowest pace since 1990. The official figure is in line with the estimates of economists polled by Reuters and slightly above the 6.5% target growth Beijing set last year. Now the government is aiming for growth between 6% and 6.5% in the year ahead, while economists predict growth in 2019 will be closer to 6.3%. Beijing’s efforts to rein in debt dragged on China’s economy in 2018. The country is also under pressure from the trade war with the U.S., although the head of China’s National Statistics Bureau described the fallout from this as “manageable”. China has accounted for a third of global annual growth over the past decade too, and the world has relied on the country to pull the broader economy out of recession. A dramatic slowdown in China’s economy would, therefore, threaten the global recovery. It’s worth remembering that although China’s growth has slowed, the economy is still growing. Its GDP increased by Rmb7.3 trillion ($1.08 trillion) last year, capping at Rmb90 trillion ($13.26 trillion).

  • Oil prices fell slightly on 25th January as concerns about US-China trade talks and fresh data on surging US fuel stocks sent a chill through markets.

The bearish sentiment appeared to outweigh the possibility that turmoil in Venezuela may lead to tighter global supply if the United States imposes sanctions on Venezuelan exports. Brent crude oil futures were at $60.86 a barrel at 1215 GMT, down $0.23 or 0.38%. Brent has shed about 2.9% since the start of trade on Monday and is on track to post its first week of losses in four weeks. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were trading at $53.06 per barrel, down $0.07, or 0.13%.

·   IMF’s Lagarde on the absence of women at banks: ‘Be careful what you look like.

The lack of women in finance is unfair to women and bad for banks, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde told this week at the World Economic Forum. “There’s something wrong,” said Lagarde, who has helmed the IMF since 2011. “If you look at the composition of boards in that sector, only 20% of them are women. If you look at the CEOs of the financial sector, only 2% are women … our societies don’t look like that. And if you look at graduates from universities and business schools, it doesn’t look like 20% or 2%. It’s a lot more than that.”International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, attends a session of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019.

Global indices as of 25th January 2019 as compared to January 18, 2019.

Global indices as of 25th January 2019
Name Current Value Prev.Close
US MARKETS
 NASDAQ (Jan 25) 7,164.86 7073.46
EUROPEAN MARKETS
 FTSE (Jan 25) 6,809.22 6818.95
 CAC (Jan 25) 4,925.82 4871.96
 DAX (Jan 25) 11,281.79 11130.18
ASIAN MARKETS
 NIKKEI 225 (Jan 25) 20,773.56 20574.63
 STRAITS TIMES (Jan 25) 3,202.25 3190.73
 HANG SENG (Jan 25) 27,569.19 27120.98
 TAIWAN WEIGHTED (Jan 25) 9,969.61 9877.12
 KOSPI (Jan 25) 2,177.73 2145.03
 SET COMPOSITE (Jan 25) 1,623.62 1620.53
 JAKARTA COMPOSITE (Jan 25) 6,482.84 6466.66
 SHANGHAI COMPOSITE (Jan 25) 2,601.72 2591.69
 SGX NIFTY (Jan 26) 10,840.50 10794.50

 

Global indices as of 18th January 2019
Name Current Value Prev.Close
US MARKETS
 NASDAQ (Jan 18) 7,157.23 7084.46     
EUROPEAN MARKETS
 FTSE (Jan 18) 6,968.33 6834.92     
 CAC (Jan 18) 4,875.93 4794.37     
 DAX (Jan 18) 11,205.54 10918.62     
ASIAN MARKETS
 NIKKEI 225 (Jan 18) 20,666.07 20402.27     
 STRAITS TIMES (Jan 18) 3,224.34 3214.44     
 HANG SENG (Jan 18) 27,090.81 26755.63     
 TAIWAN WEIGHTED (Jan 18) 9,836.06 9789.15     
 KOSPI (Jan 18) 2,124.28 2107.06     
 SET COMPOSITE (Jan 18) 1,583.77 1580.30     
 JAKARTA COMPOSITE (Jan 18) 6,448.16 6423.78     
 SHANGHAI COMPOSITE (Jan 18) 2,596.01 2559.64     
 SGX NIFTY (Jan 19) 10,983.00 10935.00     

 

Pakistan

Politics

  • Almost half of the country has a favorable opinion of Prime Minister Imran Khan, according to the results of a survey by Gallup Pakistan.

 

A press release issued by Gilani Research Foundation (GRF) on 25th January made the detailed findings public. The non-profit organization selected a nationally representative sample of men and women and asked them one question: What is your opinion on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s overall performance up until now, i.e., since his winning the 2018 elections. In response to this query, an overwhelming 51 per cent of people responded with either very good or good. 46 per cent of respondents held a negative opinion, opting for bad or very bad as their answer. Only 3 per cent either did not know or did not respond to the question.

Unsurprisingly, considering the fact that Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) swept the 2018 elections in large cities, almost 59 per cent of people living in urban areas held a favourable opinion about the premier, while 39 per cent said they were not particularly satisfied with his performance. 2 per cent did not respond. On the other hand, from among the rural respondents, only 12 per cent said that the performance of PM Imran had been very good, 35 per cent said that it had been good, 27 per cent held a negative view, 22 per cent said that it had been very bad, while 4 per cent did not know or did not wish to respond.

  • Veteran TV actor Roohi Bano passed awayafter kidney failure in Istanbul.

Known for her rich contributions to Pakistani TV dramas of the 1970-1980s, Roohi joined the TV industry whilst pursuing a psychology degree at the Government College, Lahore. Her appearance on a quiz competition led to a prolific TV career, starting with the Haseena Moin-penned Kiran Kahani. Despite her obvious brilliance as an actor, Roohi’s career was cut short by personal tragedy and strife. After two unfulfilling marriages, she lost her only son to murder in 2005 — a loss she struggled to endure. In 2015, she also survived an attack on her life when her son’s friend reportedly attacked her for refusing to sell her Gulberg residence to him. She was being treated for schizophrenia at Lahore’s Fountain House on and off during the final decade of her life.

  • Association of Former Inspector General’s of Police (AFIGP) President Iftikhar Rasheed has urged the government to take strict action against suspects involved in the Sahiwal Incident.

On behalf of the organization, he urged the government to disregard any kind of pressure to save the suspects. If the police do not develop an enthusiasm for public service, they will never be able to gain the public’s trust, Rasheed said.

He added that the incident of Sahiwal was reviewed meticulously in former IGs association meeting. The police and all former IGs agreed on an exemplary penalty for the suspects to make it an example for anyone who thinks of committing such a crime and urged that the officers who issued the orders be investigated. However, the association would give its official stance after the report of the judicial commission is issued. Former IG Police Iftikhar Rasheed said that a gap between the police and public increases the likelihood of crimes in society. He added that in order to bring about a change in police culture there is a need to introduce a “humane image” followed by a public safety commission and then later a system to maintain check and balance.

  • The Supreme Court on 24th January directed city authorities to demolish unlawful constructions across Karachi.

 

While hearing a case pertaining to illegal constructions in the megalopolis at the apex court’s Karachi registry, the bench also barred the Sind Building Control Authority (SBCA) from issuing no-objection certificates (NoCs) for the construction of commercial buildings unless the projects are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency as well. The two-member bench hearing the case, comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, issued the orders. The bench directed the authorities to demolish illegal constructions from Jam Sadiq Ali Park, Abdullah Gymkhana and other areas. The judges further directed relevant authorities to submit details of how they plan to raze unlawful constructions.

  • The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered razing of all the marriage halls built on Karachi’s Shahrae Faisal and Rashid Minhas Road, besides cinemas, plazas and other commercial establishments built in cantonment areas.

The orders were part of a larger directive by the SC to end all commercial activities from military lands in the port city. A two-member bench, comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah was hearing the case of encroachments in the city. The bench also directed Sindh chief minister Syed Murad Ali Shah to convene a cabinet meeting to deliberate how they would restore Karachi to its original condition.

·      600 children have died in Thar in 2018.

The deaths reported by the health officials have led the death toll for the 2018 to cross the 600-mark — a four-year high. According to the provincial health secretary, 450 children had lost their lives in 2017, while 479 had passed away in 2016 and 398 in 2015. Health and nutrition experts have urged concerned functionaries of the Sind government to devise long-term plans and policies so the fatalities of infants and expecting mothers could be avoided in the future.

·         Aspiring Model Killed by Pakistani Police Is Cleared of Charges.

A Pakistani judge on 24th January formally dismissed terrorism charges against a man whose killing in a police encounter last year threw a spotlight on extrajudicial killings and police brutality in the country. A judge of the antiterrorism court in Karachi dropped five cases against Naqeebullah Mehsud, an aspiring model with a large social media presence whose death prompted widespread protests. The judge also posthumously cleared three other men who were killed with Mr. Mehsud.

The court acted in the wake of a police inquiry that found that the supposed shootout in which the four men died in Karachi last January had been staged, and that their killings were extrajudicial. The operation was led by a prominent police commander named Rao Anwar, who was known for his harsh tactics. Mr. Anwar initially claimed that the four men were part of a militant group that had been involved in attacks on security forces in Karachi, considered the country’s financial and commercial hub.

·         Fatima Ali, ‘Top Chef’ fan favorite, dies at 29.

Fatima Ali, the fan favorite of the previous season of Bravo’s “Top Chef,” died on 25th January after a nearly yearlong battle with cancer, the network said. She was 29.Ali came in seventh on season 15 but won the Fan Favorite title when the season ended early last year. She was known for her “fun personality and excellent cooking” of food from her native Pakistan, Bravo said. Ali publicly documented her battle with cancer since being diagnosed at the end of 2017 with Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of bone and soft tissue cancer, Bravo said. She had chemotherapy and surgery to remove a tumor and surrounding cells in her left shoulder in January 2018.

  • This year, over 60 heads of state or government, 1,900 business leaders, over 200 media leaders from around the world and hundreds of representatives from the civil society, young generation, technologists and the world’s top minds have attended the Davos 2019 meeting with no prominence from Pakistan.

No federal government high-up has attended the event from Pakistan, missing an opportunity to tell global investors about the prospects of investment. Baluchistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan assisted by Corps Commander of Southern Command Lieutenant General Asim Saleem Bajwa was there to brief about Gawadar project. Ikram Sehgal elected chairman of the K-Electric board was there. Former chief justice of Pakistan Justice (Retired) Mian Saqib Nisar as a chief guest at the Pakistan Breakfast shared about his experience of dispensing justice at one of the most critical times in Pakistan.

Economy 

  • The government borrowing from the central bank has jumped alarmingly.

The Federal Government borrowing has jumped by Rs 2,151,654 million during IST July 2018 to 19th Oct 2018 as compared to Rs 205,554 during the same period in 2017

Government borrowing from the central bank, which rises and falls in a quarterly manner, is usually undertaken for routine liquidity management or to roll over older debt. Contrary to the trend, since August 2018, government’s borrowings from the SBP have not fallen back to their former levels when the fiscal year began i.e. Rs 3.67tr.

  • Fourth member of PM Imran’s Economic Advisory Commission resigns .

Another prominent member of the PTI government’s Economic Advisory Commission (EAC) has stepped down citing ‘personal reasons’, Former chief economist of Pakistan Sakib Sherani is the fourth member of the 18-member EAC to have resigned since its establishment in September 2018. The EAC was set up by Prime Minister Imran Khan to seek expert advice on economic and financial policies of the government. The commission is comprised of seven members from the government and 11 from the private sector.

  • The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) will provide a three-year $4.5 billion oil financing facility to Pakistan, the finance ministry announced on 26th

The IDB had activated the facility for Pakistan in July 2018 and, according to a finance ministry spokesperson, the financial institution would provide Pakistan $1.5 billion worth of oil on deferred payment each year. The spokesperson added that oil worth $100 million have already been received in the first phase of the assistance program, with $270 million worth of supplies scheduled for the second phase.

 

F.C Exchange Rates of PKR as of 26th January 2019
Countries PKR rate as of 19th January 2019 PKR rate as of 26th January 2019
U.S.A. 139.30 139.50
U.K. 179.34 182.50
Euro 158.60 158.30
Japan 1.2900 1.2800
Saudi Arabia 37.05 37.15
U.A.E. 38.10 38.10

 

Pakistan Stock Exchange Indices as of 25th January 2019

KSE 100 decreased 24 points or 0.06% to 40265 on January 25 from 40289 in the previous trading session as of January24 as compared to 39306.50 last week i.e. 18th January 2019.

Position as of  25th January 2019

Symbols    KSE100                     PSX-KMI
Advanced (Curr.) 115
40264.78
19372.25
Declined (High) 168
40379.95
19510.63
Unchanged (Low) 12
40165.72
19358.27
Total (Change) 295
-24.38
-115.86
Position as of 18th January 2019
Symbols              KSE100          PSX-KMI
Advanced (Curr.) 184
39306.50
19197.06
Declined (High) 116
39390.77
19245.80
Unchanged (Low) 21
39091.52
19048.95
Total (Change) 321
62.61
71.67

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