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Economic Losses and Shrinkage due to Covid-19
A meeting was held to assess the situation of the economy in post-pandemic scenario. The meeting was chaired by Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, where most of the government departments were present along with international agencies.
The Minister for Industries and Production Mr. Hammad Azhar and adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood were also present in the meeting. The participants of the meeting reached consensus over the shrinkage of the economy and overall economic losses incurred by the pandemic.
It was told in the meeting that economic size is shrunk due to losses mainly due to the Covid-19 outbreak and its spillover effect not only this year but in next year it is also suspected to further shrunk down. The Economic size which is measured by the GDP is estimated to be reduced by Rs. 2.5 trillion.
The size of the Economy was Rs. 44 trillion which is reduced to a level of Rs. 41.5 trillion. For the next year United Nations Development Program (UNDP), World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), and Ministry of Finance had estimated a realistic growth rate of 1.9%, contrary to planning commission estimation of 2.3%.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood lauded the efforts of the Planning Commission, international agencies, and State Bank of Pakistan on the provision of help in assessing the losses due to COVID-19. Further, he reiterated the resolve of the government to help the poor and to support business as the recent Rs. 1.2 trillion stimuli to the businesses and poor were also part of the plan.
Moreover, the governor of SBP, Mr. Reza Baqir, who joined the session virtually, presented an analysis of the policy response by the State Bank of Pakistan to the economic jolts of Covid-19. Country Director of Asian Development Bank for Pakistan Mr. Xiaohong Yang presented a detailed analysis of economic losses, there are promising signs of economic recovery are foreseen, he added.
Syed Umaer Anwer