Saturday, September 25, 2021

Economic experts express fear of rise in current account deficit up to 9.6 pc


ISLAMABAD: The economic experts of Pakistan have expressed fear of the rise in current account deficit up to 9.6 per cent and fall of growth rate to -1.57 per cent amid coronavirus crisis, ARY News reported on Tuesday.

Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, has chaired a high-level session to review the coronavirus impacts on the national economy. The participants of the session unanimously expressed fear of negative impacts of coronavirus on regional and global economies, as well as the low financial indicators in Pakistan.

During a briefing, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh was told that the current account deficit could be increased up to 9.6, whereas, the growth rate went down to -1.57 as unemployment rate spiked due to a halt in businesses and production units amid ongoing nation-wide lockdown.

Elaborating the disaster of COVID-19, the economic experts estimated for at least 3.0 per cent reduction in the global economy which could not be recovered before 2021.

It is recommended to reopen the construction sector besides the resumption of industrial activities to retain the employment rate. The finance adviser was also told that there is a need to reset and reboot the national economy. The latest session was also attended by the representatives of the World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other international financial institutions.

Earlier on April 25, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh had chaired a meeting of thinktank on economic affairs to discuss coronavirus impact on economy and efforts needed to mitigate its risks.

The participants stressed upon the need to bring reforms in the monetary, banking and financial affairs and small and medium enterprises (SME) sector. The meeting also emphasized the need to bring improvement in large scale businesses, social safety net, health sector and private sector.

The adviser had also briefed the participants on the debt relief plan approved at the G-20 forum. He said that under the plan, United States Dollar (USD) 1.80 billion debt payment could be postponed for a year.

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