Pakistan’s export is projected to fall to $4 billion due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Talking to the Pak Revenue, Prime Minister’s Advisor on Commerce, Industries and Production and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood informed that exports were showing a growth of 13% to 14% during the first two weeks of March, but it witnessed a major decline of 8% due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 across the world.
He said, “I don’t know about the exact decline in exports as we are working on different scenarios but it would be between $2 billion and $4 billion. I don’t think exports will decline by more than $4 billion.”
Replying to a question he said that he is reviewing the decision about textile mills who want compensation of Rs15 billion against selling of US dollars forward. Taking this issue up at a meeting, he addressed this issue and argued that he objected and disallowed the compensation. His views were appreciated and he maintained that it was the correct decision.
He remarked, “They are pressurizing but this pressure will not work. How can a huge amount be given to a few people? With Rs15 billion, a huge number of unemployed people can be supported for a couple of months. It is not possible to give this huge amount only to 15-20 people. This is the time to support the country.”
Abdul Razak Dawood has requested the provincial government to let the industries including cement plants and chemical resume their production under certain restrictions. In this response, the provincial government shared a list of industries that will resume their operations. He is hopeful that the business will be back to normal by the end of this month, but the major decision depends on the Ministry of Health.
“If the trend of deaths is within our projected range, then I hope business will be back to normal by the end of the current month,” he observed.
Furthermore, Abdul Razak Dawood supported the idea of Ijaz Khokahr of PREGMEA that if the factory owners are ready to match the government’s allocations for the workforce, it would be a good idea.