Playing with fire.


AMONG the devastating challenges faced by the world owing to the global pandemic, the economic meltdown is the most formidable and troubling one. To contain the virus, halting business activity and commerce appears to the best way forward in the foreseeable future, but the repercussions of such move are far more crippling.

As the world goes into a trajectory of the worst economic crisis that may dwarf the 2008 financial global crash, the developing countries become the worst-hit.

Taking Pakistan's economy into consideration, the recent economic survey has projected a loss of Rs2.5 trillion. Moreover, the GDP that was estimated to grow by three per cent in the present fiscal year, contracted to 0.4pc owing to the global pandemic.

Moreover, with the announcement of the annual budget for the fiscal year 2020-21, new challenges await the government. Not only has it to implement people-friendly measures, it also needs to adhere to IMF conditions while making policies for this year.

The government has also announced Rs1.2 trillion relief packages for the businesses and the working class in these testing times. The rising unemployment that is reflected in the loss of jobs for millions of people, according to the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, stands as a real...

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