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Millions of Pakistanis to get unemployed due to COVID-19, warns finance ministry

  • The ministry informed that the country’ s GDP growth prior to the outbreak of COVID pandemic the pandemic was expected to be 3.24pc, which has reduced to a negative 0.4pc during the ongoing fiscal year.
June 05, 2020

An estimated three million persons could be rendered jobless amid the economic uncertainty created due to the coronavirus pandemic, informed the Ministry of Finance on Friday.

The ministry in its written reply to the Senate today, said that the poverty level in the country could rise to 33.5 percent, from the current 24.3pc. The ministry said that the service sector would lose over two million jobs, whereas the manufacturing sector is likely to lose one million jobs.

The ministry informed that the country’ s GDP growth prior to the outbreak of COVID pandemic was expected to be 3.24pc, which has reduced to a negative 0.4pc during the ongoing fiscal year.

Talking about the rupee devaluation, the Senators were told that the PKR depreciated by 7.5pc per month against the dollar from February till March due to the pandemic.

The Senate also learned that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has also witnessed a drop in revenue by Rs700 to 900 billion. The ministry informed that FBR’s tax revenue can decrease to Rs3.9 trillion, signifying a shortfall of Rs1 trillion.

The ministry informed that amid the coronavirus pandemic, the fiscal deficit is also expected to rise from the initial target of 7.5pc to 9.4pc of GDP, due to both revenue shortfall and increase in public spending.

The finance ministry said that Pakistan’s exports are also likely to fall to $21-22 billion due to the decrease in global economic activity, particularly in the US, EU, and UK. Whereas, remittances too, are also expected to decline from the targeted $23bn to $20-21bn.