Tag Archives: South Asia

UPDATE 1-Pakistan appointed a fourth finance minister in two years in an overhaul of the economic team | Instant News

(Updates with more details, backgrounds, challenges for new finmins)

ISLAMABAD, April 16 (Reuters) – Pakistan appointed Shaukat Tarin as its fourth finance minister in two years on Friday, part of an overhaul of the government’s economic team as it enters a key period of budgeting and implementing IMF reforms.

Tarin, a former banker, held a portfolio of finance ministers for about a year in the previous government led by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), now against Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ruling party.

His predecessor, Hammad Azhar, has been in office for less than three weeks.

Khan also replaced other major economic-related ministries, his office said, including economic affairs and power portfolios.

Tarin took the job just weeks before the annual budget was due, with economists saying Pakistan was likely to post its biggest deficit as a result of uncertain government policies exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The third wave of COVID-19 currently hitting the country will create additional uncertainty in areas such as revenue collection, making budget forecasting more difficult.

Pakistan expects its economy to grow 3% in the current fiscal year ending June 30, after revising its forecast higher than a little over 2%. Last year, GDP contracted 0.4%.

The International Monetary Fund projects GDP growth for 2020/2021 of 1.5% and the World Bank sees a 1.3% expansion.

IMF head of state Ernesto Ramirez Rigo said on April 8 that good data in January and February had suggested growth could beat forecasts but the third wave of the pandemic meant “maybe we might … need to reduce our expectations a little bit”.

Pakistan also needs to adjust its annual budget, he said.

The IMF approved a disbursement of $ 500 million to Pakistan last month for budget support after competing to review the $ 6 billion Extended Fund Facility program.

GDP growth was 5.8% when Khan took power in 2018.

About $ 2.5 billion in loans on the international bond market and recent historically high remittances are giving the economy breathing room. (Reporting by Asif Shahzad; Editing by Toby Chopra and Catherine Evans)


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TABLE – Pakistan’s reserves increased $ 2,579 million to $ 16,106.4 in the week ended April 9 | Instant News

    KARACHI, Pakistan, April 15 (Reuters) - Pakistan's foreign
exchange reserves increase $2,579.0 million to $16,106.4 million
in the week ending April 9, compared to $13,527.2 million in the
previous week, central bank said on Thursday.
     RESERVES        Week ending    Previous Week  Change/pct
   ($ billions)        April 9                     
 Held by the State  $16,106.4 mln   $13,527.2 mln     19.0
 Bank of Pakistan                                  
      Held by       $7,113.9 mln    $7,152.2 mln      -0.5
 commercial banks                                  
       Total        $23,220.3 mln   $20,679.4 mln     12.2
    During week ending April 9, State Bank reserves increase by
$2,579 million due to receipt of proceeds of $2.5 billion
against issuance of Pakistan Euro Bonds, the central bank said
on Thursday.

 (Reporting by Syed Raza Hassan)


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Britain will support an orderly departure from Afghanistan – Raab | Instant News

British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab wears a protective mask during a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Brussels, Belgium April 14, 2021. REUTERS / Johanna Geron / Pool

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will “support the orderly departure of our troops” from Afghanistan when NATO withdraws from the country, British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said on Wednesday.

“We will support the orderly departure of our troops, while building Afghanistan’s capacity for self-government, and continue counter-terrorism support – to protect the achievements made over the past 20 years,” Raab said in a statement.

Earlier on Wednesday, US President Joe Biden said he would begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan on May 1 to end America’s longest war.

Written by William Schomberg


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Opportunities Asia South India – The Hinduism | Instant News

Peace with Pakistan is not only a bilateral issue, but important for India to transform South Asia

A statement issued by the Director General of Military Operations for India and Pakistan, in late February, that they agreed to strictly comply with all agreements between the two countries, coincided with a statement made by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in Colombo that “our only dispute is Kashmir and that can only be resolved through dialogue. “This was then strongly supported by the Commander of the Pakistan Army, General Qamar Bajwa. This shows that there is a growing awareness, but it is not being stated, that no country can seize the part of Kashmir that each one controls over the other. Rather, it is best. a focus on solving problems that ravage the entire subcontinent – poverty, malnutrition and unreasonable neglect of young people. It is a realization that the India-Pakistan animosity is hurting regionalism and the growth of South Asia.

Economic integration

Fair peace between India and Pakistan is not only good for both countries but also for all countries that are members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Reports such as the World Bank publication entitled ‘A Glass Half Full’ and others from the Asian Development Bank and the European Union conclude that there is explosive value to be gained from South Asian economic integration.

Although SAARC has facilitated limited collaboration among its members, SAARC remains a victim of the India-Pakistan attitude. As Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar observed in his December 2020 interview to this newspaper: “If SAARC is a serious regionalism initiative, and [Pakistan] blocking trade and connectivity and people-to-people relations … what regionalism are we talking about? “Now that the two countries have agreed to maintain the ceasefire, it is time for India to seize the moment and become more concerned with South Asia and less obsessed with Pakistan.

A transformed and economically integrated South Asia region can benefit from being linked with China’s Belt and Road Initiative and even joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the world’s largest trading bloc of 15 countries, contributing 30% of GDP, as an invaluable partner. .

Writing in a commemorative volume in honor of the late Sri Lankan economist Saman Kelegama, Professor Selim Raihan of the University of Dhaka brought up India’s enormous ‘imbalance in size’ in South Asia: “India’s share of South Asia’s total land area, population and real GDP in 2016 62%, 75% and 83% respectively. The other two major countries in South Asia are Pakistan and Bangladesh with shares in regional GDP of only 7.6% and 5.6%, respectively. “

Given its size and weight, only India can take the lead in transforming underperforming regions such as South Asia. Collectively with a population of just over 1.9 billion, South Asia has a GDP (PPP) of $ 12 trillion. Compare with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). At nearly 700 million, ASEAN has a GDP (PPP) of around $ 9 trillion and a per capita income, $ 14,000 (PPP), close to China, with member countries such as Vietnam starting to grow spectacularly.

Indian moment

It is a moment for India to think big and act big with ambition to engineer the half-time economic miracle of South Asia that China is doing. If this sounds impossible, so did the rise of China in 1972. But for that to happen, India needs to view peace with Pakistan not as a bilateral issue, to be achieved casually, if at all, but as important and urgent, of all countries. while seeing it as the opportunity of a lifetime, to dramatically change South Asia for the better, no less.

Uday Balakrishnan teaches at IISc, Bengaluru. Views are personal


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Can Germany bring India and Pakistan closer? | Asia | An in-depth view of news from around the continent | DW | Instant News


In an interview with DW, Tobias Pflüger, chairman of the German-South Asian parliamentary group, said that Berlin could mediate the Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan.


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