Hafeez calls for evolving national strategy to make up for economic losses due to COVID-19
ISLAMABAD: Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has stressed the need for evolving a national strategy with the joint efforts of federal and provincial governments along with other institutions to cover up the losses due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country.
"The federal government or any of the provincial government or any specific institution can not do this job alone, but we will have to make joint efforts to cope with challenges of Covid-19," he said while talking to media persons.
He said the country's economy was getting stable, the exports had started going up after long time, and Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) was going on smoothly, but the negative impacts of Coronavirus that spread across the world dented this progress.
However, he vowed to take special measures to preserve and maintain the progress made in the macro-economic indicators in the country.
He said that due to Coronavirus, the global economy would slow down and international demand for Pakistan's products was likely to decline which could result in negative growth of exports.
Further, he said the oil prices had also gone down to record low level and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries' incomes would also decline and with the result remittances were also likely to decrease.
On this occasion, he said "We want to offer such incentive package that our economy should get stable and the affected industries such as airlines, toruism, construction, Small and Medium Enterprises, Transport and others would get relief package".
He said in the package that the government was going to announce, taxes would be cut down while more subsidies would be offered to the affected industries and people.
He said wheat procurement season was going to start in the country and the government would ensure smooth disbursement of Rs 280 billion against procurement of wheat to farmers.
Replying to a question, the Finance Advisor pointed out that the country's economy had not been badly hit by the pandemic Covid-19 to that extent that it had affected the big economies in the world and there was not extreme kind of situation in the country.
"We are not facing very difficult situation right now and let’s hope that we do not get into that stage in future and there is no such situation that will have very bad effect on our economy or our country."
However he pointed out that the government had timely approached the international financial sectors to seek support to cope with the financial impacts emanating from the pandemic.
"We have informed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) about the new incentive measures that were not planned earlier being taken for the traders and exporters who suffered losses due to outbreak of Coronavirus across the world," he said adding that the IMF had agreed that the Pakistan government should announce special measures for them.
He said the IMF had agreed with the Pakistani government that the expenditures being made in context of Covid-19 would not be counted in the country's fiscal budget.
He said that they had also approached Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank (WB) who had agreed to provide support on easy terms and conditions. - APP