ISLAMABAD, April 28 (APP): Amid emerging signs of economic recovery, Federal Minister of Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin on Wednesday called for support from development partners to boost economic recovery during the third wave of Covid-19, which, he said, was difficult.
“The third wave of COVID-19 is particularly difficult and Pakistan needs the support of development partners to boost recovery,” the minister said during a speech at a virtual event held on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia. and the Pacific (UNESCAP) titled “Debt Relief in the Aftermath of the Pandemic: How Regional Dialogue Can Help”.
The minister said the country’s economy was showing signs of economic recovery as the large-scale manufacturing (LSM) sector showed significant growth, but that there was a need to build on this momentum, which did not was not possible without outside support.
The Minister of Finance briefed the forum on the economic challenges Pakistan faces due to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that due to the precarious economic situation in 2018, the Pakistani government had to opt for the Fund’s program. international monetary system (IMF) to fix the balance of payments. crisis.
Pakistan successfully met all criteria in the first performance review criteria, he said, adding that all fundamental economic indicators reflected significant improvement before the onset of COVID-19.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 shock resulted in a massive economic contraction resulting in loss of livelihoods, disruption of supply lines and limited economic activity during partial shutdowns, he added.
To mitigate the severe impact on the economy, the government introduced the largest economic stimulus package ever put in place for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to protect against insolvency, and facilitated the construction and related industries to stimulate growth during test periods.
Sixteen million families received direct cash transfers under the Ehsaas program, which represented around 46% of Pakistan’s total population to protect the most vulnerable segments of society, he added.
The finance minister further said that by now Pakistan has taken over the IMF program and faces a difficult choice to strike a balance between the need for fiscal consolidation and ever-increasing demand for stimulus. in the context of COVID-19 and in the post-COVID scenario.
According to a press release from the Ministry of Finance, the Minister of Finance of Maldives as well as high-level delegates from Mongolia and the Kyrgyz Republic also attended the session.
Other delegates underscored the need to develop a mechanism to provide maximum debt relief to developing and underdeveloped countries, which faced budget constraints and liquidity crises during the pandemic.
The session concluded that there was a need to continue the regional dialogue to learn from the experiences of countries and thus face the challenges posed by the pandemic in a better way.