ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar Wednesday said the agreement between Pakistan and Switzerland on sharing of bank accounts details was signed and ratified and being implemented since 30th November.
Speaking at a press conference, he said the agreement with Switzerland to gain information about foreign bank accounts of Pakistanis was a great achievement. He said the previous governments deliberately avoided signing a MoU with Switzerland.
Pakistan would start getting information about bank accounts of its citizens from Switzerland within two weeks time, he added.
Shahzad Akbar said it was essential to understand the framework of the treaty to make the exchange of information possible.
He said Switzerland was the country which kept information of bank accounts highly confidential, however, now they had agreed to share the data according to the provisions of the treaty.
Agreements for exchange of information about bank accounts with other countries would also be signed but it would take some time, he added.
He lamented that six years were wasted in the ratification of the treaty, adding the government was also in contact with the German government for the sharing of bank accounts information.
Shahzad Akbar said former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif spent Rs250 million on his 25 private visits abroad on government expense and the case was referred to National Accountability Bureau which would investigate the misuse of authority.
Sharing details, he said Sharif visited Jeddah on a private visit for offering Umrah with 28 people and the money was spent from national exchequer. He said, similarly, he went on private visits to the United Kingdom, China, and Saudi Arabia.
IMF Executive Board approves FY2020–2022 Medium-Term Budget
ISLAMABAD: The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved the fund’s administrative and capital budgets for financial year (FY) 2020, beginning on May 1, 2019.
According to IMF press statement received here Tuesday, the board had approved the budget on April 5, 2019 besides taking note of indicative budgets for FY2021–22.
The net administrative budget for FY2020, which covers all administrative expenses less receipts (primarily from external sources to help support capacity building activities and excluding lending income), has been set at US$1,158 million, it said.
The FY2020 budget represents an unchanged resource envelope in real terms for the eighth year in a row, measured relative to the IMF’s budget deflator, with the exception of a small (0.6 percent) increase in FY2017 to meet rising cyber and physical security costs.
The budget priorities for FY2020 include increased resources to country work, notably in low-income countries and fragile states, the work on governance and the fight against corruption, and macro-financial surveillance.
Asian markets cautious ahead of major corporate earnings
HONG KONG: Stocks were generally lower in Asian trade on Tuesday as investors move cautiously ahead of a deluge of corporate results later in the week.
Tokyo stocks were trading down with profit-taking before 10 days of holidays in Japan weighing on the market.
With many markets opening after an extended Easter break, Hong Kong Shanghai, Taiwan, Singapore were all down, while Australia and Seoul were trading up.
“Some of the world’s biggest technology companies are reporting earnings this week as well as a raft of the big European banks,” Nick Twidale, chief operating officer at Rakuten Securities Australia, said in a note to clients.
“Investors will be hoping for some better-than-expected results from both groups to keep the topside momentum in global equities, however if the data starts to show a significant slowing across these key industries then expect both stocks and risk trades to start to come under some heavy pressure.”
Major earnings releases expected this week include Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Exxon Mobil and auto maker Tesla.
Aerospace giant Boeing will report earnings on Wednesday for the first time since a deadly March 10 plane crash plunged the company into crisis-mode.
Financial analysts have already slashed their 2019 profit forecasts after Boeing announced earlier in April it was cutting its monthly production of the 737 by about 20 percent. Lower plane deliveries directly affect revenues.
Traders are also looking ahead to the first-quarter gross GDP data due Friday in the US.
Macron all set to announce reforms to contain Yellow Vest protests!
PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron will reveal his long-awaited response today (at 6 pm) to Yellow Vest manifestations in a reform plan that could prove decisive for his presidency and long-term political future.
Macron, 41, swept to power in 2017 on hopes he would be a youthful breath of fresh air for France. But since November he saw the momentum sucked out of his presidency by the weekly “yellow vest” protests against social inequality.
He is scheduled to hold a Presser in order to announce a series of reforms drawn up after a vast listening exercise he launched in response to the protests.
Macron is expected to announce reforms such as tax cuts for middle classes, as well as the abolition of the ENA administration school. He is expecting that such reforms, which could not be termed as revolutionary, would assuage the unrest.