Stories about IMF

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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Pakistan’s economic options during the coronavirus crisis

No matter what form of lockdown prevails in Pakistan, one thing is for sure, it will hurt the economy at large with the poorest households being affected the most. As the pandemic pushes the world towards a recession, thousands may lose jobs. According to the last census, a majority of our population, particularly those living in rural areas, earn around Rs 5,000 or less, which already greatly reduces the purchasing power of such households. Most daily wage labourers, both skilled and unskilled, are the most vulnerable and may slip further into destitution during the lockdown. Let us try and estimate ...

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What we can do to help the government during COVID-19

Life is full of surprises, both pleasant and unpleasant. But some surprises are more of a shock than anything else. A rude awakening of sorts.  Just a few days ago, life was normal. You were perhaps planning a family holiday, maybe thinking of what needs to be done around the house and making a grocery list for the next month. And suddenly, everything changed. China was under attack from a very different kind of enemy, a virus. One that rapidly spread across the globe and shut down economies. In a few short weeks, it forced various governments to shut borders, ...

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The importance of economic transparency in Pakistan

The boisterous wrangling over the post-Brexit agreement between the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU), and the adoption of an assertive economic nationalism by the United States (US) in the ongoing trade disputes with other major economies have quickened the pace of realignment and reconfiguration in the global economy. The ensuing volatility and uncertainty have been compounded by the staggering challenge of coming up with a sustainable solution to climate change, managing the inexorable spread of coronavirus, and rationalising the network of relations in the global supply chain. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has responded to these developments ...

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How will the coronavirus impact the global economy?

China is a global heavyweight in terms of its sheer size, population, economy and growth rate, with the central Asian republic accounting for approximately 20% of the world’s gross domestic product. Therefore, it is imperative that we keep an eye on how the coronavirus and resulting situation develops in China because it can have possible ramifications, not only for Pakistan, but for the global economic community as a whole. Coronavirus, or convid-19, is certainly taking its toll on the population in mainland Chinese. The latest reports indicate that the death toll has surpassed 2000 while over 74,000 have been infected ...

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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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Why does the government continue to increase electricity prices?

The price hike for electricity recently announced by the government was neither surprising nor unexpected. However, there are some key questions related to this decision that need to be addressed. Why was this done? What does it mean for ordinary citizens? And, what can we expect in the future? Why another power tariff hike? Let’s begin with why the decision was taken. To increase social welfare and allay price pressure, governments provide subsidies to different segments of the population. Subsidies are designed to help people buy products and services they cannot otherwise afford. With the recent decision to raise the electricity ...

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Asad Umar – second time lucky?

Political promises are like ephemeral realities. Parties who win the hearts and minds of people do so on the back of the promises they make, and its no surprise that heartbreak generally swiftly follows every new regime. Imran Khan’s government is no different. The economic mess has meant that a lot of people who were vying for change are now running away from it. This is due to a couple of reasons. Firstly, Imran appointed Shabbar Zaidi, the man who showed people ways of saving taxation for a living, as the head of Federal Board of Revenue. Secondly, he made deals with ...

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Imran-Trump meeting: A step in the right direction on the million-mile journey

Here’s the good news – Imran Khan and Donald Trump’s face-to-face meeting was cordial, to say the least. There was no bromance or physical gestures of affection, which Imran’s Indian counterpart is known for, but all in all, not a bad first step towards normalising relations between the two countries. Considering what happened in November last year – i.e. the Twitter fireworks that essentially tore apart any hope or chances of rapprochement or reconciliation – other than showing a few signs of nervousness, Imran handled the most unpredictable character ever to grace the halls of the White House pretty ...

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Given the recent spat and strained relations, how will the Imran-Trump meet unfold?

Hoping to assuage strained bilateral relations between the United States (US) and Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Washington later this month has been met with enthusiasm from both sides. Despite the initial confusion regarding the visit, the official White House statement highlighted that the focus of Imran’s maiden visit will be on ‘strengthening cooperation’ in pursuit of regional security and peace; its vagueness unsurprisingly echoing previous visits by Pakistan’s premiers. What will undoubtedly be of interest is the sight of Imran and President Donald Trump finally coming face to face after their tense exchange on Twitter last ...

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