This cabinet meeting with the Prime Minister in chair was informed that Pakistan had recorded an increased GDP growth of 5.3 percent during the current fiscal year due to prudent economic policies of the government. Large scale manufacturing achieved 5.6 percent growth whereas per capita income increased to 1,629 dollars from 1,334 dollars in 2013. Remittances increased to 19.3 billion dollars, tax collection reached 3,362 billion rupees and fiscal deficit reduced by 5.8 percent.

Executive Committee of National Economic Council approves nine major projects while ECC approves replacement of four LPG Air Mix projects 

The approved projects by ECNEC include revision of Prime Minister's National Health Programme and construction of 132 KV new grid station and transmission line as well as energy loss reduction project by Sukkur Electric Power Company. Road projects cleared by the ECNEC include construction of Chitral-Garam Chashma- Doraha road, dualization and improvement of Old Bannu Road and Pindigheb-Kohat Road, and change in financing modalities of construction of Lahore-Sialkot Motorway. Meanwhile, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) allows marketing of diesel oil conforming to EURO-IV and EURO-V specifications under deregulated environment. According to details, Air Mix Project Malkot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is proposed to be replaced with project at Balakot, Forward Kahuta with Drosh in Chitral, Hajira in Azad Kashmir to Beor in Kahuta and Abbaspur in Azad Kashmir to Bhun in Murree. The approvals were accorded in meetings held in Islamabad with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in the chair.

Punjab, NBP officials discuss promotion of agriculture

Punjab officials and National Bank of Pakistan stressed their commitment to facilitate small farmers, helping them secure loans to improve the working of the agriculture sector. Aisha Ghaus Pasha, the provincial finance minister, and Muhammad Naeem Akhtar Khan Bhabha, agriculture minister Punjab, had a meeting with NBP President Saeed Ahmad to discuss the close cooperation in the e-credit scheme for agriculture. Under the e-credit scheme, small agri farmers are being provided financing for which mark up is being borne by the Punjab government.  NBP has committed to lend up to Rs30 million under the scheme. Pakistan is an agri-based economy and keeping focus on the growth of this sector is imperative for the overall growth. To ensure that the loans under e-scheme reach the most deserving candidates, a strategy was designed where NBP will partner with the best performing microfinance institutions and extend credit lines to these institutions. These institutions will use the same credit lines to disburse loans to the small farmers under e-credit scheme country-wide.

Asian Development Bank calls for green financing mechanisms

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has proposed the creation of national green financing vehicles to catalyse environmentally and financially sustainable infrastructure investments in Asia and the Pacific.

In a report, the ADB highlighted the constraints for developing a large pipeline of bankable green infrastructure projects and called for an integrated approach to transforming country financial systems.

The report, titled ‘Catalysing Green Finance: A Concept for Leveraging Blended Finance for Green Deve­lopment’ outlined the concept of a Green Finance Catalysing Facility (GFCF), having a life of twenty years, which would serve as a model for countries to create their own financing vehicles and implementing mechanisms.

HBL vows to fight charges levelled by US regulator

Habib Bank Ltd (HBL), which is facing a possible penalty of up to $630 million by the US regulators, said it will fight all 53 points included in the charge sheet it has received over suspicious transactions from its New York branch. The HBL New York branch came under scrutiny after the bank received a notice of hearing and statement of charges from the New York Department of State Financial Services (DFS), the regulator and supervisor of its New York operations, seeking to impose $630 million over 53 violations allegedly committed at the branch. In a press conference, HBL CEO Nauman Dar said the penalty has no logic. But he emphasized that the bank will pay the penalty if it is in a “reasonable amount”. 

Host: Imrana Naheed

Co-host: Sajid Farooq


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