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  • Coronavirus relief think tank provides suggestions to revive battered economy

    abdul hafeez sheikh file photo abdul hafeez sheikh

    Members of the Coronavirus relief think tank provided suggestions to Prime Minister Imran Khan's finance advisor Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on how to revive the economy as it reels from the pandemic. 

    Chairing a meeting of the think tank on Saturday, Shaikh invited suggestions from the country's economic experts on how to deal with the coronavirus situation. A press release from the finance ministry said that the experts outline the need for the government to take oil hedging steps and conduct a scrutiny of the loans provided to the power sector. 

    The think tank advised the prime minister's aide to reschedule the country's internal and external loans and to provide more debt to the housing sector to generate economic activity in the country. 

    During the meeting, proposals to improve the construction and agricultural sectors were also put forward by members of the think tank, confirmed the press release. 

    Shaikh was advised to procure wheat at the earliest, in order to avoid another food crisis in the country. Economic experts said that for exporters and large businesses, the GST should be fixed at 5%. 

    The prime minister's aide appreciated the suggestions and said that they could help revive economic activities in the country. He hoped that the G-20 countries postpone Pakistan's debt payments amounting to $1.8bn. 

    Shaikh said that Pakistan had received $1.4bn in aid to mitigate the damage inflicted by the coronavirus from the International Monetary Fund. He said that recommendations from the think tank will be taken into account on a short, mid, and long-term basis. 

    PM Imran will soon chair a session of the think tank as well, he said, adding that Pakistan will seek help from international experts as well in its attempt to mitigate the economic impact of the virus.

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