ISLAMABAD, Aug 31 (APP): Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said Monday that world community’s support was imperative to deal with the situation arising out of COVID-19 to mitigate the sufferings of the people.
He was speaking at a webinar organized by Asian Development Bank (ADB) and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
He said that debt relief by the developed countries to developing countries would be a timely and positive initiative.
The advisor appreciated the debt relief provided to Pakistan by Group 20 countries, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank (WB).
He said that world cooperation was needed to cope with the challenges faced by the developing and low income countries due to coronavirus outbreak.
He said that the world today was facing serious problems owing to COVID-19 and termed these problems more serious than the recession of 1930s. He said that the virus hit the world at a time when it was not prepared for it.
The advisor said, like other countries of the world, Pakistan was also affected by the virus, however the government took timely measures to protect its citizens and economy from the virus and its effects on economy.
The advisor said that the government launched corona package to provide relief to people and business community.
He said that cash transfers were made to people, while the government introduced many initiatives to protect business and save people from unemployment.
He said that Pakistan was working with Netherland and African Union through Credit Vulnerable Liabilities Group for preparing recommendations to help the vulnerable countries.
These included delay in repaying of debt, maintain credit rating of affected countries, he added.
He said that the WB had prepared $160 billion assistance programme so a considerable portion of it should be diverted to Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) programme to help developing countries.
He said that Prime Minister, Imran Khan had appreciated the debt suspension initiatives as well as refunded financing offered different financial and donor agencies.
To a question, he said that there was need to tap the potential of international as well as domestic markets.