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ISLAMABAD: The Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, has asked the international development partners and the government agencies to continue evaluating the losses suffered by the Pakistan economy due to the Covid-19 pandemic to help the government come up with a swift and robust policy response. Ministry of Planning Development and Reforms has informed the adviser that Pakistan economy suffered losses of around Rs 2.5 trillion due to corona with the contraction of Gross Domestic Products (GDP) from projected at Rs 44 trillion before corona to Rs 41.5 trillion after corona, sources said and added that second round would be even more difficult with expected decline in remittances and slow recovery in growth, decline in exports. A preliminary report presented by the committee constituted, under the chairmanship of Deputy Chairman to prepare for National Coordination Committee, was presented to the Adviser. The meeting was also attended by the representatives of PIDE, Asian Development Bank (ADB) World Bank (WB) and UNDP. Sources said other representatives also presented their reports, however, discussion on the reports was deferred for another meeting due to paucity of time.

Hafeez Shaikh was chairing a meeting on Friday to evaluate the economic losses suffered by the Pakistan economy due to the Covid-19. The meeting was also attended by Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood, and senior officials of the Finance Division.

The adviser acknowledged the work done by the Planning Commission, the State Bank of Pakistan and the development partners in assessing and evaluating the losses suffered by the Pakistan economy in the wake of the COVID-19.

He said that the government had announced a Rs1.2 trillion stimulus package not only to help the businesses but also the poorest segments of our population in alleviating their miseries and suffering.

Earlier, Governor State Bank of Pakistan Dr Reza Baqir, who attended the meeting through ZOOM, presented a detailed analysis of the State Bank of Pakistan as well as its policy response to the economic impact of Covid-19 pandemic.

Xiaohong Yang, country director for Asian Development Bank in Pakistan, also gave a detailed presentation on the economic losses suffered by countries in Asia in general and by Pakistan in particular in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The data presented by the ADB also showed promising signs of recovery in Pakistan's economy in the post-Covid-19 scenario.

During the meeting, Julien Harneis, United Nations Resident Coordinator Humanitarian Coordinator in Pakistan, and Patchamuthu Illangovan, country director of the World Bank in Pakistan, also provided similar data.

Asif Saeed, member Planning Commission, also presented a detailed report prepared on the instructions of the government on the economic losses suffered by the economy due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020