Stories about GDP

Covid-19 and the looming food crisis

A potential risk posed by the Covid-19 pandemic is rising food insecurity and its potentially debilitating impact on local and global food systems, especially in developing countries. According to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), nearly 265 million people could possibly have to face acute food insecurity, as opposed to 135 million people prior to the advent of the pandemic, by the end of 2020. Even before the pandemic, a worldwide food-price spike was expected to occur. According to the United Nations (UN), an unprecedented humanitarian crisis of “biblical proportions” may result from Covid-19 and the global fear ...

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Caught between clerics and coronavirus

On May 7th, the government of Pakistan decided not to revise its earlier decision from April 18th, whereby the government allowed the re-opening of mosques after thorough negotiations between the state and the country’s top clerics. With a lengthy 20-point standard operating procedure (SOP) agreed upon by the government and Pakistan’s clerics, the latter seem to have got their way, again. This is a concerning development given the rampant spread of Covid-19 across Pakistan. While the SOPs agreed upon require mosques to follow 20 procedures (including maintaining a six-feet distance between worshippers, barring the entry of the ill and the ...

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What will the new economic ‘normal’ look like?

The current pandemic has quickly turned from a public health crisis into an economic crisis; and the latter is likely going to worsen. Hence, it is time we reconsider our vision of the post-pandemic economic scenario. Will our hopes of the global economy returning to its pre-pandemic state fall short? Let us consider the different components likely to be impacted. Consumption With consumption being the largest component of the gross domestic product (GDP) for most of the world, a hit to consumption expenditure would lead to a direct hit to the overall GDP. And given the deteriorating circumstances, consumption will suffer a ...

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Assessing the Covid-19 economic fallout in Pakistan

As the global economy comes to a standstill, one question dominating headlines in Pakistan is whether or not the country’s economy can afford a lockdown. While analysts weigh the cost and benefits of such a move, it is imperative to first understand the economic ramifications of the current situation before one attempts to present a solution. GDP growth While reviewing the economic situation of Pakistan for 2019-20, it is heartening to note that despite Covid-19’s adverse economic impact, the agriculture sector will still experience modest growth. This is crucial since the sector accounts for roughly 20% of Pakistan’s gross domestic product (GDP). ...

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Kashmir’s economic conundrum during Covid-19

India’s 2020-21 budget, presented by Nirmala Sitaraman, allots a whooping sum of $66.9 billion to the Indian ministry of defence. Though there are a number of divisions and sub-divisions under which this amount will be spent, the major chunk goes to the army. In Kashmir there is roughly one army personnel for every seven citizens, making it the world’s most militarised zone. The region of Jammu and Kashmir, which counts for one percent of India’s population, has been receiving 10% of the funds from the centre. But this money is not spent on developmental projects and is instead used to maintain a military presence in the area. Jammu ...

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Can Pakistan’s economy endure the ramifications of COVID-19?

As of now, it is abundantly clear that coronavirus has upended textbook economics, global stock markets, currency rates, and unearthed massive socio-economic inequality. Unfortunately, according to the United Nations (UN), Pakistan could be one of the countries hardest hit by the economic fallout which this pandemic is ushering in. The report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) postulates that economies of developing countries will, “Take an enormous hit from high capital outflows, lost export earnings due to falling commodity prices and currency depreciations, with an overall impact likely worse than the 2008 crisis.” Already reeling from one economic crisis, ...

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Covid-19 infects neoliberalism: Is the state making a comeback? – Part I

Read Part II in this series here. ~ Once the climate crisis precipitated a raging atmosphere of adversity towards neoliberalism, it’s the novel coronavirus that is now transmuting neoliberalism’s left-wing critique into a pandemic like itself. To provide some context, if the reigning order of the world system could be defined in two words, the politically popular and pontifical phrase, economic liberalism, otherwise called liberal capitalism, would be it. It’s philosophe-architect, the neoclassical Chicago School of Economics, perhaps did not know in the 1930s that it was designing an ideological leviathan that no one would be able to beat by the turn of ...

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Can Pakistan’s economic decay be halted?

Expectations were sky-high when Imran Khan took over Pakistan’s reins in 2018 with most voters hoping that their financial well-being would improve. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government has now been in power for approximately 18 months, and therefore, it would be a good time to gauge whether the hopes of their voters were misplaced or warranted. More importantly, if the aforementioned hopes were misplaced, it is advisable for us to take a look at what measures need to be undertaken to bring stability to the economy. After trying and subsequently failing to balance the books with the help of friendly ...

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Sustainable development goals have to take centre stage for Pakistan at Davos

As world leaders prepare to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, it seems that the issue of building a sustainable future will take centre stage at the summit. This year’s theme for the WEF is “Stakeholders for a cohesive and sustainable world”, hence emphasising the urgency with which leaders across the globe need to address one of the most pressing issues the planet is currently facing. After the bush fires in Australia, volcanic eruptions in the Philippines, floods in Jakarta, mass burning of the Amazon rain-forest, famine in Zambia, water scarcity in Mexico and dangerous weather patterns in North America; leaders ...

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How the obstacles to women’s mobility are crippling Pakistan

While the gender disparity which plagues Pakistan is by no means undocumented, perhaps the true extent of this gulf escapes us on a daily basis. The disparity becomes particularly stark when it is placed in a global context, as illustrated in the recently released report by the World Economic Forum titled the ‘Global Gender Gap Index 2018.’ According to the report, Pakistan is the second-worst country in the world when it comes to gender disparity, a title which should make it apparent that drastic reforms are needed in the country if we truly wish to become a nation which provides ...

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