Last update: Sun, 01 May 2016 04pm

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The Ministry of Defence has sought Rs 920 billion - an 18 percent higher amount than the current year's budget of Rs 781 billion. The rise in demand is linked to threat perception as well as the envisaged enhanced role of the armed forces in providing security to the ongoing projects of China Pakistan Economic Corridor. The defence ministry has reportedly requested that the budgetary allocations of the armed forces should be linked to threat perception which has enhanced due to the current geo-political situation and Pakistan's strategic location in the area.
National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC) of China and Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform of Pakistan have agreed to expedite the pace of work on development projects in Gwadar under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework. This agreement was reached in a meeting between Chairman NDRC Xu Shaoshi and Federal Minister Planning, Development & Reform Ahsan Iqbal in Beijing. They also discussed the holding of meetings of working groups of CPEC next month and construction of Gwadar-Nawabshah Gas Pipeline.
The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) has reduced gas prices for fertilizer plants and increased prices for power producers, a notification issued by the authority said. According to the notification, the regulator has increased gas prices for power plants by Rs 13 per Million British Thermal Unit (mmbtu) and for fertilizer industry it has reduced gas price by Rs 76.59 per mmbtu, effective from April 1, 2016. The regulator has set new gas tariff for all the power plants at Rs 613 per mmbtu against Rs 600 per mmbtu. The new gas tariff for fertilizer industry is set at Rs 123.41 per mmbtu against Rs 200 per mmbtu. Ogra officials said that new tariff for domestic and commercial consumers would be announced from July 2016.
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has reduced sales tax on all petroleum products, including motor spirit on which sales tax has been brought down from Rs 12.89 per litre to Rs 9.89 per litre from May 1, 2016. The FBR has issued SRO.369(I)/2016 here on Friday to be effective from May 1, 2016. Under the SRO, the sales tax on Motor spirit has been fixed at Rs 9.89 per litre as compared to previous rate of Rs 12.89 per litre, reflecting a decrease of Rs 3 per litre.
The US will no longer subsidise the sale of eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, a senior state department official is said to have told the BBC. The decision means that Pakistan will have to pay more than $700m (£480m) - two-and-a-half times the original cost - if it wishes to buy the aircraft. It comes after Congress refused to approve funding for the deal.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Friday that future of the FATA would be decided as per the wishes of the people and no decision would be imposed on the tribesmen. He said this talking to Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Iqbal Zafar Jhagra who met him at Prime Minister House to discuss matters related to the development of FATA. Mian Nawaz Sharif said the government was very much interested in the much-needed FATA reforms.
The federal government has released Rs 416.8 billion (60 percent of the total budgeted allocation for the year), including Rs 72 billion foreign aid, under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for various development projects against the budgeted allocation of Rs 700 billion for 2015-16.The government has released Rs 118.8 billion including Rs 12.65 billion foreign aid out of the total budgeted allocation of Rs 209.6 billion for various federal ministries and departments in the current fiscal year.