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Japan forced to amend budget over dodgy data scandal

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TOKYO: Japan said Friday it will have to amend its upcoming budget to fund compensation for people whose benefits were incorrectly paid for years because of a scandal involving incorrect labour data.

The labour ministry admitted this week that it has for years failed to collect complete data for its monthly employment report, which is closely watched as an indicator of wages and work hours.

The data helps determine various government benefits, including employment insurance.

Officials are supposed to gather data from all firms with 500 or more employees but in Tokyo, only about one third of 1,400 such firms were surveyed.

Local media said the scandal could date back more than a decade and a total of 53 billion yen ($490 millions dollars) would be repaid to 20 million workers.

“I have received a report from the labour and welfare ministry that they need to provide employment insurance and other payments retroactively,” top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

“We will make adjustments to make a necessary budget allocation in the fiscal 2019 budget” for the year starting in April, he said.

He gave no details on how much would need to be repaid, and added that the government was now probing dozens of other major data sets.

The labour minister has admitted he received a report about the problem as early as December 20.

The ministry nevertheless went ahead and published data on December 21 and January 9 that it knew had sampling problems, raising questions about the reliability of official statistics in the world’s third-biggest economy.

The monthly labour survey has been watched by the government and the Bank of Japan as a clue for their economic policy decisions.

Suga said it was “extremely regrettable” that confidence in the survey was shaken.

 

 

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Is Uber buying Careem for $3.1b?

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DUBAI: According to the rumors making rounds here today it seems that Uber is about to acquire Careem for $3.1b!

Sources privy to NPTV have insinuated that the deal will be announced tomorrow (Tuesday 26th March). Initially Uber will pay $1.4 billion in cash and the rest in notes convertible to Uber shares.

It comes as Uber prepares for its initial public offering — expected next month — which could see the rideshare giant’s value increase to $100 billion.

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Pakistan to receive $2.1b from China

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China remains largest holder of U.S. Treasuries

ISLAMABAD: According to the Ministry of Finance, it has completed all procedural formalities with Chinese counterpart for a facility of $ 2.1 Billion. 

The amount, due to be received on Monday 25th of March, would further strengthen the country’s balance of payment situation. The funds that would be deposited in SBP would also strengthen foreign exchange reserves position.

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Pakistan to receive US $ 2.1 bln from China by Monday: Spokesman

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will receive US $ 2.1 billion from China by Monday March 25, which would further strengthen country’s balance of payment situation, Adviser and Spokesman for Ministry of Finance, Dr Khaqan Najeeb said.

“The ministry of finance has completed all procedural formalities with Chinese counterpart for facility of RMB 15 billion equivalent to US $ 2.1 billion,” the advisor said in a tweet here Saturday.

He said that the funds would be deposited in the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) account by Monday March 25, adding that it would further strengthen foreign exchange reserves position and ensure balance of payment stability.

Meanwhile, the advisor clarified that the discussions with international partners do not entail any target level of exchange rate.

In a tweet, the spokesman said that focus was on further strengthening the exchange rate regime, aligning it and keeping it consistent with the evolving macroeconomic fundamentals of the economy.

He said the news related to fixing exchange rate target was baseless and unfounded. “Clearly no target PKR/USD exchange rate is envisaged. Speculation baseless and unfounded,” he tweeted.

He said State Bank of Pakistan’s (SPB) economic models point to the real effective exchange rate at equilibrium value.

He said stability in balance of payment was ensured with a fall in current account deficit and more than adequate foreign financing availability.

 

 

 

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