Pakistan to face greater challenges in next fiscal due to COVID

Pakistan to face greater challenges in next fiscal due to COVID

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is likely to face greater challenges in the next fiscal year starting July 2020 due to COVID-19, said Economic Survey 2019/2020 released on Thursday.

“After recording its first contractionary year due to the COVID crisis since 1952, Pakistan is likely to face greater challenges in the 2020/2021 starting July 2020,” according to the survey.

Under normal circumstances, after recording over 3 percent growth, Pakistan could have been reaping the benefits of macroeconomic stability achieved over the last year and would have embarked on a higher growth trajectory of over 4 percent.

However, the pervasive and lasting effects of COVID-19 pose serious challenges to the economy which remains susceptible to its aftermath, despite efforts towards the outbreak’s curtailment.

With an expected 2 percent growth for next year which is even lower than the population growth rate, challenges such as unemployment and poverty are expected to persist and amplify.

A second round of the outbreak could further threaten macroeconomic stability and socioeconomic outcomes.

Businesses will face liquidity issues, and many more may experience insolvency. They will require different kinds of support, for instance bailouts and provision of cheap funding, among others.

Global trade will further dampen thereby constricting exports and remittances inflow, while domestic fiscal adjustment will become even more challenging. Higher debt accumulation will be problematic, financing for development projects may become scarce, revenues might be difficult to increase while expenditure demand may be immense.

Synthesizing all this in an intricate policy mix has to ultimately be in place to smoothen this transition from crisis to stabilization.

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