Pakistan's market is hailed as an innovation laboratory for branchless banking (BB) services within the South Asia region as well as outside. But it seems that Pakistan's regional leadership could soon be taken over by a relatively late entrant in the sector: Bangladesh.
Many common streaks from the previous provincial budget highlight Punjabs budget for 2013-14. Only this time, it will be relatively easier with the backing of Islamabad. And not surprisingly, the budget for the province is not too conflicting with the attitude adopted by the federal government.
The current account deficit stayed tame in May, thus curtailing the 11-month deficit within one percent of GDP. And this deficit is half of what it was in the corresponding period last year. But that is more of a stroke of luck than an outcome of smart policy framework.
For the ladies in Sindh, it will now cost an additional 10 percent to look all pretty and nice. Thats a part of Qaim Ali Shahs plans to increase provincial tax revenues; sales tax on services to be specific.
Presenting the Sindh budget this week, the Chief Minister said that his government will not raise GST on services to 17 percent but certain new services like beauty parlours (exceeding annual turnover of up to Rs3.6 million) and race clubs will be brought in the tax net. The beautician services will be taxed at the reduced rate of 10 percent.
Of all the provincial budgets, KPKs was the most waited. It was a bit of anti-climax that the senior minister who belongs to the coalition partner Jamaat-e-Islami, presented the budget instead of a PTI face - yet the speech sounded coming straight from the PTIs economic team.
For the telecommunications industry, the FY14 federal budget seems no different than the one presented last year. Though the telecom operators are set to benefit from the one percentage point reduction in corporate tax rate, that measure is hardly telecom-specific.