Impact of COVID19 Pandemic; Biden vs Trump; Modi's Blunders

What is the global impact of COVID19 pandemic? How has it affected the United States? How is Prime Minister Imran Khan handling the coronavirus crisis in Pakistan? Are complete lockdowns absolutely necessary to contain the spread of coronavirus?

Impact of COVID19 Global Pandemic

Has President Trump's handling of the COVID pandemic and its devastating economic impact hurt his re-election chances?  Who is better for Pakistan? Biden or Trump? Was President Obama's hostility toward Pakistan shared by Joe Biden who served as his vice president from 2009 to 2017? Why did Biden say "Pakistan is 50 times more important to US than Afghanistan"?

Have Prime Minister Modi's policies backfired? Why has Modi not succeeded in isolating Pakistan? Why do almost all of India's neighbors from China to Nepal to Pakistan have problems with India? Why is Modi under India so isolated? Why has President Trump not strongly backed India in Ladakh?

Despardes with Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with Misbah Azam and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com).


https://youtu.be/4REeQjTDHvw






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Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Is #COVID19 pandemic peaking in #Pakistan? #Positive Test Rates, Weekly Cases and Weekly Deaths Suggest It is! #CoronavirusPandemic #CoronaVirusPakistan https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus/country/pakistan?country=PAK~IND


https://twitter.com/haqsmusings/status/1276368202109349888?s=20
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan central bank governor says #coronavirus lockdowns are a ‘luxury of the rich’. #COVID19 #pandemic is a public #health crisis and until it’s addressed, there will most likely be #economic hardships ahead, State Bank Governor Reza Baqir told CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/02/pakistan-central-bank-governor-on-economic-challenges-during-coronavirus-pandemic.html?__source=sharebar|twitter&par=sharebar

The coronavirus pandemic is a public health crisis and until that’s addressed, difficulties on the economic front should be expected, Pakistan’s central bank governor Reza Baqir said.
Pakistan has reported more than 213,000 cases of infection and more than 4,300 people have died.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government lifted a two-month-long lockdown in early May, few weeks before an important festival, and as millions struggled in light of drastically reduced economic activity.

“We are very concerned. First and foremost, this is a public health crisis — we have to remind ourselves of that,” Reza Baqir said on CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Wednesday.

“And, only on a secondary basis, then it becomes an economic crisis. Until the public health crisis is addressed, we should continue to expect challenges on the economic front,” he added.

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government lifted a two-month-long lockdown in early May, a few weeks before an important festival.

As millions were struggling with starvation during that time of drastically reduced economic activity, the country’s Covid-19 cases surged once the lockdown was eased, Reuters reported.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan Foreign exchange: SBP reserves rise $1.27 billion to $11.2 billion, despite external #debt payments of $809 million. Increase attributed to official inflows from #WorldBank, #ADB, #AIIB and #China.
| The Express Tribune https://tribune.com.pk/story/2252987/foreign-exchange-sbp-reserves-rise-127b-to-112b


The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 12.75% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday.
On June 26, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $11,231 million, up $1,270 million compared with $9,961.2 million in the previous week.

The SBP received around $2,046 million in official inflows, including $737 million from the World Bank, $503 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), $500 million from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and $300 million as government of Pakistan loan disbursement from China, said a press release issued by the central bank.

“After incorporating government’s external debt payments of $809 million, SBP’s reserves increased by $1,270 million to $11,231 million,” it said.

During the current week, the SBP has received an additional $1,000 million as government of Pakistan loan disbursement from China. These funds will be part of SBP’s weekly reserves data as of July 3, 2020 to be released on July 9, 2020.

Overall, liquid foreign currency reserves held by the country, including net reserves held by banks other than the SBP, stood at $17,971 million. Net reserves held by banks amounted to $6,740 million.

Pakistan received the first loan tranche of $991.4 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on July 9 last year, which helped bolster the reserves. In late December, the IMF released the second loan tranche of around $454 million.

Previously, the reserves jumped on account of $2.5 billion in inflows from China.

A few months ago, the SBP successfully made foreign debt repayment of over $1 billion on the maturity of Sukuk.

In December 2019, the foreign exchange reserves surpassed the $10-billion mark owing to inflows from multilateral lenders including $1.3 billion from the Asian Development Bank.

Foreign investment of over $3 billion in the debt market in the previous fiscal year also played an important role in the growing foreign currency reserves.

Earlier, the reserves had spiralled downwards, falling below the $7-billion mark, which raised concern over Pakistan’s ability to meet its financing requirements. However, financial assistance from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and other friendly nations helped shore up the foreign exchange reserves.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan #FBR collects Rs50bn more than FY20 revenue target. Revenue board collects Rs3.95tr in FY20, as against the revised target of Rs3.90tr #COVID19 #lockdown #economy - Profit by Pakistan Today



https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/2020/06/30/fbr-collects-rs50bn-more-than-fy20-revenue-target/

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) collected Rs3,957 billion during the fiscal year 2019-20, which was Rs50 billion more than the revised target of Rs3,907 billion.

According to the FBR spokesperson, the department collected Rs411 billion in June 2020, as against the target Rs398 billion. “The FBR managed to collect Rs4 trillion gross revenue for the first time in the country’s history, which is commendable,” he added.

It is pertinent to mention that the government had originally set the FY20 revenue target at Rs5.55 trillion. However, it was revised downward after the first review of Pakistan’s economy by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).     

Meanwhile, following the second review by the IMF in February this year, the collection target was further revised downwards to Rs4.80 trillion. 

As coronavirus had crippled the country’s economy post March 2020, the revenue target was again revised to Rs3,907billion. 

It may be noted that during the last year, former FBR chairman Shabbar Ziadi had gone on indefinite leave due to bad health and did not return to the office. The government had then appointed Nausheen Javed Amjad, a grade-22 officer of Inland Revenue Service, as FBR chairperson in May this year. 

Riaz Haq said…
ICRA Sees #India's Real #GDP Shrink By Almost Double Digits In FY21. Rating agency now expects FY21 GDP to contract by 9.5%, a sharp downward revision from earlier forecast of 5% decline. Why: Rising #Covid19 and local lockdowns. #Modi https://www.bloombergquint.com/business/icra-sees-india-real-gdp-contract-by-almost-double-digits-in-fy21 Via @Bloombergquint

ICRA Ltd. has sharply cut its forecast for the Indian economy in FY21, citing localised lockdowns and rising Covid-19 cases. Its forecast is now the most pessimistic among major institutional forecasters.

The rating agency now expects FY21 real GDP to contract by 9.5%, a sharp downward revision of its earlier forecast of a 5% contraction. The climbing Covid-19 infections have resulted in a spate of localised lockdowns in some states and cities, arresting the nascent recovery that had set in during May-June 2020, it said in a statement on Thursday.

“The Indian economy had started to recover from the troughs experienced in April 2020, when the lockdown was at its severest, and many sectors seemed to be adjusting to a new normal. However, the unabated rise in Covid-19 infections in the unlock phase and re-imposition of localised lockdowns in several states, appear to have interrupted this recovery,” said Aditi Nayar, principal economist at ICRA.

Given the severity of the pandemic and the duration of the safety measures that need to be employed, we now expect a deeper pace of GDP contraction in Q2 FY21 relative to our earlier forecast, ICRA said. The agency said the economic impact would also be more uneven, as different regions move in and out of lockdowns and persisting labour supply mismatches affect supply chains and consumption patterns.

India recorded nearly 32,000 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday with the total number of cases rising to 9.6 lakh.

As a result of the spreading infections, economists, who were earlier anticipating the economic recovery to begin in the second quarter and strengthen in the third quarter, are now revisiting that assumption.

The timeline for a firmer recovery out of the contractionary phase is now being pushed ahead to at least Q4 FY21 from Q3 FY21. This presumes that a vaccine will be widely available by then, which now appears necessary for discretionary consumption to recover in certain sectors such as travel, hospitality and recreation.
Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist, ICRA
Also Read: Covid-19: Shape Of India’s Economic Recovery Goes From V To W-ish

ICRA expects the Indian economy to have contracted by 25% in Q1 FY2021. It now expects a shallower recovery in subsequent quarters than estimated earlier.

GDP is estimated to contract by 12.4% in Q2 FY21 as compared to a contraction of 2.1% estimated earlier.
GDP is estimated to contract by 2.3% in Q3 FY21, compared to an earlier estimate of GDP growth at 2.1%.
GDP forecast for Q4 FY21 too has been revised to a growth rate of 1.3% from 5% as per ICRA’s previous estimates.
The agency, however, does expect the rural economy to remain a bright spot. High frequency indicators in the rural economy such as kharif acreage and tractor sales continue to strengthen. “ICRA, thus, continues to expect agricultural gross value added to rise by 3.5-4.0% in FY21, supporting rural sentiment,” it said.

Despite the revised GDP forecasts, ICRA said it doesn’t see significant fiscal support due to the revenue pressures being faced by various levels of government.

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