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PM inaugurates Thal Express

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ISLAMABAD: PM Imran Khan has inaugurated the Railway Live Tracking System and Thal Express here today. 

Addressing the audience on the occasion PM reiterated his government’s resolve to devise people-friendly policies on a priority basis to take masses out of poverty. He said that uplift of the trains system of Pakistan Railways would be taken with the cooperation of China.

PM noted that  China was far ahead of other countries in the development of train systems and like other areas, we will also seek their cooperation in railways sector to make Pakistan Railways modern and customer friendly passenger service. He said work on Main Line-1 project will be expedited.

Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said Thal Express will connect Rawalpindi to Multan. He said two VIP trains called Jinnah and Sir Syed will be run from next month.  The Minister said twenty more trains will be launched this year. He said the number of freight trains has been increased to 14 which will be further increased.

Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said in order to reduce expenditures of Pakistan Railways, the schools and colleges run by it as well as its hospitals will be privatized. He said the vigilance cell in Pakistan Railways has also been abolished.  The Minister said 365 acres of land has been acquired in Gwadar from Balochistan government for railway division. 

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Economy

IMF Executive Board approves FY2020–2022 Medium-Term Budget

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

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Economy

Asian markets cautious ahead of major corporate earnings

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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.

 

 

 

 

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Macron all set to announce reforms to contain Yellow Vest protests!

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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. 

 

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