A written response has been submitted by the Finance Ministry to the Senate in which it was revealed that as per the government’s estimate, around 3 million people will lose their jobs in the “initial round’ of the coronavirus outbreak.
The upper house was informed that 1 million jobs will be lost in the industrial sector while 2 million jobs will be lost in the services sector. Also, the ministry said that the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics has estimated that unemployment would rise by 18 million in the agricultural, services, and industrial sectors collectively.
A response was submitted to the ministry to a three-part question by Senator Mushtaq Ahmed who asked regarding the estimated loss to the economy, surge in the budget deficit, debt and dollar value, and the plan by the government to cope with the challenges.
The finance ministry said that the proportion of people living in poverty will increase to 33.5% from 24.3%. Also, it is expected that the fiscal deficit would rise from the initial target of 7.5% to 9.4% of the gross domestic product (GDP) because of the revenue shortfall and an “increase in public spending due to fiscal stimulus package”.
As per the ministry said that the increase in debt burden will be dependent on the fiscal deficit.
Also, the exports may decline to $21-22 billion due to low commodity prices and low economic activity in the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, and the Middle East.