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Economic loss from floods in Pakistan reaches $18b

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  • Economic losses have gone up further, says Centre.
  • Increase is mainly because agricultural crops have been destroyed.
  • New estimate states 8.25m acres of crops destroyed.

The rapid assessment cost on projected economic losses following floods as calculated by the Centre and endorsed by the provinces has gone up further to the tune of $17-$18 billion.

The economic losses have further increased mainly because agricultural crops have been destroyed across 8.25 million acres as compared to an initial assessment of 4.2 million acres. Cotton, rice, and minor crops have been damaged severely and if de-watering is not done properly, it can cause serious problems for wheat sowing.

Cotton crop has evaporated in most parts of the country and now wheat sowing is under threat.

The Ministry of National Food Security has been assigned to come up with a summary to increase the minimum support price of wheat for the coming crop. The authorities have held meetings with international donors and assured them that Pakistan would place an effective monitoring and evaluation system to utilise each and every penny to mitigate the flood losses in a transparent manner.

“The UN secretary-general is due Friday (today) for a three-day visit and Islamabad is going to share the rapid assessment cost with him. The international donors under the supervision of the World Bank are making their separate study on Damage and Need Assessment and then these figures will be reconciled,” official sources told The News Thursday.

The Ministry of Planning is undertaking an exercise to slash down the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) by Rs250 to Rs300 billion to bring it down from Rs800 billion to Rs500 to Rs550 billion for the current fiscal year. These resources will be diverted toward the flood-affected areas.

When contacted, Minister of State for Finance Aisha Ghaus Pasha and inquired about the latest rapid assessment cost, she refused to share the exact information and said that the cost had escalated and efforts were underway to finalise it by giving a cut-off date.

Under the rapid assessment exercise, the government had initially envisaged the cost of economic losses to the tune of $10 to $12.5 billion but the revised estimates suggested that the accumulated cost of economic losses had escalated up to $17 to $18 billion.

The per capita income is projected to slow down in the wake of the reduced GDP growth. The government had envisaged a GDP growth rate of 5 percent for the current fiscal year. The IMF had recently projected that the GDP growth would be standing at 3.5 percent for the current fiscal year. However, the floods damaged the agriculture sector and the industrial sector also gave an indication of slowing down, so the GDP growth might be below two per cent.

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The KSE-100 Index rises following a sharp decline in the previous session.

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The government is considering filing a treason case under Article 6 against PTI founder Imran Khan, former president Arif Alvi, and former deputy speaker Qasim Suri. On Tuesday, the KSE-100 Index was up more than 1.3% during early trading, following a day of roughly a 2 percent loss due to growing political unrest and the potential banning of the party.

However, the benchmark index of the Pakistan Stock Exchange was trading at 79,074.63 by 11:49 a.m., having gained 535.45 points, or 0.68 percent, after reaching an intraday high of 79,578.04.

Market analysts said that political tensions were the primary cause of the KSE-100’s earlier Monday decline of 1578.71 points, or 1.97 percent.

They did point out, though, that a correction was a reasonable reaction to the protracted upswing that allowed the benchmark mark index to reach 81,839.86 on July 18.

As a result of interest rate cuts and the possibility of another IMF program, the Pakistan Stock Exchange has gained 22.97 percent so far this year. The cycle began on June 10 with a 1.5 percent decrease in borrowing costs.

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In interbank trade, the US dollar crushes the Pakistani rupee.

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During interbank trade on Tuesday, the US dollar’s value increased by 15 paisas, reaching Rs 278.45.

It is important to remember that Fitch Business Monitor International expressed concern about the possibility that Pakistan’s economic stability may be jeopardized by the ongoing political unrest.

The fragile situation of Pakistan’s economic recovery was emphasized by Fitch in its most recent Pakistan Country Risk Report, which also noted that economic activity has been impeded by urban protests.

(PTI),In spite of multiple successful judicial appeals, the founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) is expected to stay behind bars, the article notes, underscoring the fragile political environment.

With no urgent plans for new elections, this scenario suggests that the coalition administration will remain in office for the next 18 months.

Fitch also described an eventuality in which the government could change and be replaced by a technocratic administration. This suggests that the government of Pakistan would carry out the reforms demanded by the IMF, contributing to the 3.2% GDP growth expected in 2024–2025.

The policy rate has stabilized above projections, while the research predicted it may reach 16 percent this fiscal year and 14 percent the following year.

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Pakistan’s gold prices per kilogram dropped.

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When 24-karat gold dropped by Rs. 500 to Rs. 250,500 per tola on Tuesday, the price of gold fell once again on both the local and international gold markets.

By Rs429 to Rs214,763, 10 grams of gold cost less, according to the Gold Sellers Association.

Gold’s price per ounce dropped to $2391 on the international market by $11.

At Rs2920 per tola, the price of silver did not change.

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