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Should Pakistan discontinue the Rs5,000 currency note?

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KARACHI: Former chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Shabbar Zaidi on Thursday insisted that the discontinuation of Rs5,000 note and curbs on the physical movement of dollars is key to curbing the cash economy in the country.

The financial expert made these remarks on Geo News show Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath just hours after a fake notification fuelled rumours among the people claiming that the government has decided to ban the note of the highest denomination.

Zaidi maintained that currency circulation is very high in Pakistan and the Rs5,000 note provides convenience in the cash economy, adding that people have kept wealth in their lockers in dollars and Rs5,000, which should be banned.

“What will a person do with cash dollars in Pakistan, if anyone is seen with the greenback, should be arrested until he proves where the dollars came from.”

50% of the people will not encash if they are asked to deposit the note in banks, Zaidi added, and cited the example of India which discontinued the Rs2,000 note some time ago in a bid to curb corruption.

He, however, suggested the authorities give some time to the holders so that they can exchange it.

“I spoke about shutting down exchange companies, now people have understood the reason behind it. The work of the exchange companies should be given to the banks, these companies will be abolished in a year. There are no exchange companies anywhere in the world except Dubai. By establishing exchange companies, the dollar has technically been made the currency of Pakistan.”

‘Discontinuation of Rs5,000 will create uncertainty’

On the other hand, former finance minister Miftah Ismail has strongly opposed the idea, saying the move will only create uncertainty and fear and will not solve the problem we are trying to address.

MIftah Ismail shared that the Indian economy suffered a setback of 1-2% due to this.

The former minister mentioned that people do find ways to avoid restrictions and every note of Rs2,000 was encashed in India.

“It is not proved anywhere in the world that discontinuation of currency stops corruption.”

Opposing Zaidi’s idea, Ismail said it would increase dollarisation.

He credited the appreciation in rupee value to an increase in confidence after the recent meeting of military leadership with the businessmen.

“Smuggling of petroleum products from Iran is necessary,” Ismail added.

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April FDI in Pakistan increased to $358.8 million, according to SBP

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The inflow for April was $358.8 million, up 177% from $132 million in April FY23. Still, that was 39% more than the $258 million from March.

China was the largest investor, with $439.3 million in FDI from the nation between July and April of FY24—the greatest amount—as opposed to $604 million during the same period of FY23. In April, China accounted for $177 million of the total investment.

With $51.93 and 51.89 million invested in Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Canada came in second and third, respectively.

The power industry was the main draw for foreign investors in FY24, which ran from July to April. This period’s FDI in the power industry was $637.5 million, compared to $776.2 million the previous year. From $338 million to $460 million this year, Hydel Power garnered more attention.

Continue reading: In FY23–24, Pakistan’s per capita income increased to $1680.

According to a separate data released on Wednesday, Pakistanis’ per capita income increased to $1680 in FY2023–2024.

The size of the national economy grew from $341 billion to $375 billion in the current fiscal year, according to figures made public by PBS.

Throughout this fiscal year, Pakistanis’ yearly per capita income increased by Rs 90,534; the monthly rise was Rs 7,544.

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OGRA forbids the purchase or sale of inferior LPG cylinders.

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The 313 LPG marketing and 19 cylinder-producing companies received notices from the OGRA, which described the act of refilling inferior LPGO cylinders as harmful.

Avoid supplying LPG to unlicensed distributors, the OGRA has cautioned LPG marketing companies. Only approved distributors will be able to sell and buy LPG going forward, per the notification, which states that new SOPs have been developed for the LPG industry.

Additionally, the warning said that the decision was made in an effort to preserve both lives and the business in response to an increase in cylinder blast occurrences.

Price reductions of Rs 20 per kilogramme for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) were implemented in Quetta on May 3.

There is a reduction of Rs 20 on LPG prices, which means that the price per kilogramme drops from Rs 280 to Rs 260.

The costs of LPG were reduced by Rs 20 per kilogramme earlier, bringing the total decrease to Rs 40 per kilogramme over a few weeks. This is something worth noticing.

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PIA announces a significant student discount.

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According to an airline spokesman, the national flag carrier has recently raised the baggage allowance to 60 kg.

Currently, PIA flies one flight per week on Sundays between Islamabad and Beijing.

The discount may be useful to students who intend to spend their summer vacations in Pakistan or who wish to return home after earning their degrees.

Before, students who wanted to visit China could now receive a 27% reduction on their fares through PIA.

On Eid ul Fitr, the national flag airline also reduced the cost of domestic flights by 20% for both economy and executive economy classes.

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