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AJK govt announces over Rs220 billion budget 2024-25

AJK govt announces over Rs220 billion budget 2024-25

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AJK govt announces over Rs220 billion budget 2024-25

The Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) government on Tuesday announced its budget of over Rs 220 billion for the financial year 2024-25, including a development outlay of Rs 44 billion.

AJK Finance Minister Abdul Majid Khan presented the budget in the session of AJK Legislative Assembly, chaired by Speaker Chaudhary Latif Akbar.

Highlighting the key features of the budget, Minister Abdul Majid Khan said the total estimated income stood at Rs 201.17 billion, with significant contributions expected from federal grants and inland revenue.

The development expenditure for the fiscal year 2024-25 was projected at Rs44 billion, he added.

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The minister detailed that total receipts were estimated at Rs201.17 billion, with Rs. 105 billion anticipated from the Federal Government under the Federal Variable Grant, Rs75 billion from inland revenue, Rs15 billion from electricity, and Rs 0.45 billion from the Forest Department.

Additional revenue exceeding Rs 20 billion would come from various sources, including the AJK Transport Authority, Armed Services Board, Law and Order (Administration of Justice), Police (Interior), Prisons, Communication, Roads, Education, Health, Food, Agriculture, Wildlife/Fisheries, Livestock and Dairy Development, Printing Press, Industries, Silk, Minerals, Tourism, and other sectors, he added.

The minister said the total expenditure for the fiscal year 2024-25 was estimated at Rs 220.033 billion.

Sectoral allocations included Rs0.9 billion for Agriculture and Livestock, Rs 0.15 billion for Civil Defence & SDMA, Rs0.345 billion for Development Authorities, Rs4.8 billion for Education, Rs0.15 billion for Environment, Rs0.8 billion for Forestry/Watershed, Rs 0.075 billion for Fisheries/Wildlife, Rs3 billion for Health, Rs0.52 billion for Industries/Minerals, Rs0.28 billion for AJK TEVTA, Rs2.035 billion for Governance/Miscellaneous, Rs0.03 billion for Transport, Rs0.2 billion for Information & Media Development, and Rs. 0.8 billion for Information Technology, he added.

The budget, the minister said, also included Rs 3.7 billion for Local Government and Rural Development, Rs 2.465 billion for Physical Planning & Housing, Rs 4.8 billion for Energy and Water Resources, Rs 1.4 billion for Research & Development, Rs 1.15 billion for Land Administration & Management, Rs 0.3 billion for Social Welfare & Women Development, Rs 0.5 billion for Sports, Youth & Culture, Rs 0.7 billion for Tourism, and Rs 14.9 billion for Communication & Works.

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“This comprehensive budget aims to stimulate growth and development across various sectors in AJK for the fiscal year 2024-25,” he added. 

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Oil market likely to be in surplus next year, Morgan Stanley says

Oil market likely to be in surplus next year, Morgan Stanley says

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Oil market likely to be in surplus next year, Morgan Stanley says

The crude oil market is currently tight but next year will likely be in surplus, with Brent prices declining into the mid-to-high $70s range, Morgan Stanley said.

The tightness will hold for most of the third quarter, the bank said in a note dated on Friday, but equilibrium will return by the fourth quarter, “when seasonal demand tailwinds abate and both OPEC and non-OPEC supply return to growth.”

Three sources told Reuters last week that OPEC+ is unlikely to recommend changing the group’s output policy at a mini-ministerial meeting next month, leaving in place a plan to start unwinding one layer of oil output cuts from October.

Morgan Stanley said it expects OPEC and non-OPEC supply to grow by about 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2025, well ahead of demand growth.

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Refinery runs are set to reach a peak in August this year, and unlikely to return to that level until July 2025, it said.

Morgan Stanley left its forecast for Brent crude prices for the third quarter of 2024 unchanged at $86 per barrel. Earlier this month, Goldman Sachs also maintained its projection for the quarter at an average Brent price of $86 a barrel.

Brent crude prices on Monday were up 0.54% at $83.08 a barrel by 0535 GMT, and US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 0.54% at $80.56. 

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Asia stocks skid as China trims rates; Biden steps aside

Asia stocks skid as China trims rates; Biden steps aside

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Asia stocks skid as China trims rates; Biden steps aside

Asian shares slid anew on Monday, getting little lift from a surprise rate cut by China’s central bank, while Wall Street futures firmed in the wake of President Joe Biden’s decision to bow out of the election race.

The People’s Bank of China cut short-term rates by 10 basis points, which pulled down long-term borrowing costs and bond yields. The move follows Beijing’s release of a policy document on Sunday outlining its ambitions for the economy.

Investors seemed underwhelmed with the move, in part as it only emphasised how weak the economy was, and Chinese blue chips slipped 0.9% along with the yuan.

“Basically all the fundamental factors point to the fact that China needs a lower rate environment, especially the real rate is really high…in this kind of disinflationary environment,” said Gary Ng, Asia-Pacific senior economist at Natixis in Hong Kong.

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“I think the general trend is that it’s pretty much in line with the fact that the economy is not that great, and it seems that there’s a bit of urgency from the authorities to stimulate it now.”

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost another 0.7%, having shed 3% last week.

Japan’s Nikkei dropped 1.2% and South Korea’s benchmark index fell 1.3%. Taiwan was having another tough session with a loss of 2.3% amid concerns about US restrictions on chip sales.

Investors seemed much better prepared for news President Biden would drop out of the election race and endorse Vice President Kamala Harris for the Democratic ticket.

Online betting site PredictIT showed pricing for a victory by Donald Trump had fallen 4 cents to 60 cents, while Harris climbed 12 cents to 39 cents. California governor Gavin Newsom, another possible Democratic challenger, trailed at 4 cents.

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Markets took the news in their stride, with S&P 500 stock futures nudging up 0.1%, while Nasdaq futures added 0.2%. Futures for 10-year Treasuries rose 2 ticks, while 10-year bond yields dipped 2 basis point to 4.22%.

EUROSTOXX 50 futures added 0.5%, while FTSE futures firmed 0.4%.

“As Trump’s polling results have lifted, markets have favoured positions that anticipate more trade barriers and possibly higher inflation,” ANZ analysts said.

“Some polls have Harris performing better than Biden against Trump, and the Democrats will be hoping the next polls feature a Harris-driven bump.”

EYE ON EARNINGS

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A packed week of corporate earnings will see Tesla and Google-parent Alphabet kick off the season for the “Magnificent Seven” megacap group of stocks.

Others reporting include General Electric, General Motors, Ford and Lockheed Martin.

The tech sector is projected to increase year-over-year earnings by 17%, while profit for the communication services sector is seen rising about 22%.

Such gains would outpace the 11% estimated rise for the S&P 500 overall, according to LSEG IBES.

Europe’s biggest banks also report this week, with eyes on whether the gains from higher interest rates have run out of steam and if recent political drama is weighing on sentiment.

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A busy week for economic news will culminate with the Federal Reserve’s favoured inflation measure out on Friday. The core personal consumption expenditures index is seen rising 0.1% in June, pulling the annual pace down a tick to 2.5%.

Markets are wagering heavily that a benign outcome will firm the case for a September rate cut, which futures are pricing as a 97% chance.

Also due are figures for advance gross domestic product that are forecast to show growth picking up to an annualised 1.9% in the second quarter, from 1.4% in the first.

The closely watched Atlanta Fed GDPNow indicator points to growth of 2.7%, suggesting some risk to the upside.

The Bank of Canada meets on Wednesday and is considered almost certain to cut its rates by a quarter point to 4.5%.

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In currency markets, the dollar gave back just a little of last week’s safe haven gains as the euro edged up 0.1% to $1.0886. The dollar was a fraction softer on the Japanese yen at 157.27.

In commodity markets, gold held at $2,406 an ounce and short of last week’s record high of $2,483.60.

Oil prices inched higher, with scant sign of progress on a ceasefire deal in Gaza as Israeli forces battled Palestinian fighters in the southern city of Rafah on Sunday.

Brent gained 44 cents to $83.07 a barrel, while US crude rose 41 cents to $80.54 per barrel.

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FinMin Aurangzeb set to visit China to reschedule $15 loans

FinMin Aurangzeb set to visit China to reschedule $15 loans

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FinMin Aurangzeb set to visit China to reschedule $15 loans

 In order to reschedul energy loans worth $15 billion, Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb is all set to visit China for three days tomorrow.

The minister will discuss the loan rescheduling with the Chinese authorities. The minister will also discuss China’s energy circular debts worth Rs500 billion.

Read more: Finance Minister Aurangzeb leads delegation to US for IMF talks on new bailout package

The minister will also discuss Panda Bonds during the visit to get the $30 million bonds in China.

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