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ISLAMABAD: International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) have lowered GDP growth rate projection for Pakistan to one percent and 0.5 percent respectively against government's projection of 2.1 percent for the current financial year 2020-21.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has yet to release the updated GDP growth projection for Pakistan for 2020-21. The Fund affirmed negative 0.4 percent GDP growth rate for last fiscal year 2019-20, the same rate as noted in the budget 2020-21 documents subsequent to the onslaught of the pandemic. The Fund's pre-Covid assessment was 1.5 percent growth for the year based on the contractioanry monetary and fiscal policies agreed with Pakistani authorities, which was identical to the projections in the budget 2019-20.

IMF in Rapid Financing Instrument documents uploaded on its website in April 2020 projected a GDP growth rate of two percent for 2020-21, 0.1 percent lower than what was projected in the budget presented to parliament on 12 June 2020. A pre-Covid assessment for the current year placed the growth rate at three percent.

The Fund's report "World Economic Outlook (WEO)" also released in April 2020 projected GDP growth rate for 2019-20 at negative 1.5 percent however a pre-Covid assessment placed the growth rate at 3.3 percent. World Bank in April 2020 revised the real GDP growth projection for Pakistan to 1.1 percent from an earlier projection of 2.4 percent for 2020 and 0.9 percent for 2021 from 3 percent.

World Bank revised downward the GDP growth rate projection by a massive five percent for Pakistan in May 2020 to negative 2.6 percent from 2.4 percent for fiscal year 2019-20 and - 0.2 percent for fiscal year 2020-21. In its latest report, "South Asia Economic Focus", the Bank projected GDP growth for Pakistan at 0.5 percent for the current financial year.

ADB in May 2020 revised downward the GDP growth rate projection for Pakistan to -0.4 for fiscal year 2020 and so far retains the two percent rate for fiscal year 2021.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020