Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said here that Pakistan was one of a few governments of the world that effectively managed the COVID-19 pandemic and saved people from its negative effects.
“When Covid-19 attacked us like other world, the Pakistani government was one of the few world governments that handled it in a better manner,” he said while speaking at soft-launch of the Financial Pakistan Expo 2020.
The advisor said that in order to save vulnerable population from the negative effects of the coronavirus, the government announced Rs1250 billion relief package to ensure cash transfers to people.
On the other hand, the advisor added, the government took many initiatives to facilitate businessmen to save them negative effects.
He said that the the country was facing severe crisis when the incumbent current government took over in 2018 as the debt had risen to Rs30,000 billion with exchange reserves at very low and trade deficit at the highest at $20 billion.
So the government had to take hard decision to correct it adding he said it went to International Monetary Fund (IMF) besides taking other important decisions.
The government took two important decisions, one to collect taxes from wealthy and support poor; second reduce expenditures by cutting expenses of President House, Prime Minister House, cabinet, army and civil government.
With these initiatives, the various economic indicators showed growth as before Covid-19, taxes were growing at the rate 17% while the government reduced expenditures that resulted in surplus in primary balance while the trade deficit was also reduced….