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Last update: Fri, 01 Jul 2016 11pm

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The ailing small and medium enterprises of the country are in dire need of a lifeboat amidst lack of financing, energy crisis as well as weak institutional support. So how does the budget fare in increasing competitiveness and productivity for these ailing enterprises that should be catalysts for overall economic growth?
The alarm bells should ring for Pakistan's mango export sector as Indian mango exports are under severe threat due to higher pesticide residues than the prescribed limit by the global standards, and discovery of pests and diseases in some consignments to the United Arab Emirates.
The PBS is notorious for allegedly inflating its data, using tampered numbers to make the economy look better than it really is. The official reported figure of GDP growth is under tremendous fire; most members of the Senate have rejected the governmentâ??s claim of 4.7 percent GDP growth.
May's numbers for cement are out, and they show stellar performance. The sector has registered its highest ever dispatches, recording at 3.6 million tons for May 2016; a 19 percent growth from FY15. Cumulatively, dispatches have reached 35.5 million tons in 11MFY16 against 32 million tons in the same period last year; a surge of 10.6 percent. The sector will likely end the year with historic highs in salesâ??and continue to grow in FY17 and FY18.
For a state-owned company fraught with corruption cases and mis-governance, losses don't come as a surprise. Sui Southern Gas Company Limited just announced its already late financial statements for 1HFY16 and 9MFY16 after much delayed annual accounts for FY13, FY14, and FY15 a couple of months back. And believe us, the profitability just keeps slipping away.
The coordination between federal and provincial governments on telecom related taxes should be improved. For the next fiscal, the federal government has not increased withholding tax or sales tax (here, collected as "FED") on users of telecom services in federal jurisdictions. However, the Sindh government has increased the sales tax on telecom services by one percentage point, effective from July 1.
Islamabad, we have a problem. The provincial surplus figures estimated for FY16 are hugely off target. So are the budgeted numbers for FY17. The centre had budgeted a combined provincial surplus of Rs297 billion for FY16; the revised estimates revealed in its Budget in Brief document put the number at Rs336 billion. In contrast, Sindh posted a deficit of Rs8 billion in FY16, whereas Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa posted a balanced budget in FY16.