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Business

Web Desk
April 26, 2020

COVID-19: Experts call for scrutiny of power sector loans, oil hedging

Business

Web Desk
Sun, Apr 26, 2020
Files

ISLAMABAD: Economic experts advised Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, on measures to revive economic activity in the country which included oil hedging and scrutiny of loans provided to the power sector.

Chairing a meeting of the think tank on Saturday, Shaikh invited suggestions from the country's economic experts on how to deal with the coronavirus situation. A press release from the finance ministry said that the experts outline the need for the government to take oil hedging steps and conduct a scrutiny of the loans provided to the power sector.

The think tank advised the prime minister's aide to reschedule the country's internal and external loans and to provide more debt to the housing sector to generate economic activity in the country.

During the meeting, proposals to improve the construction and agricultural sectors were also put forward by members of the think tank, confirmed the press release.

Shaikh was advised to procure wheat at the earliest, in order to avoid another food crisis in the country. Economic experts said that for exporters and large businesses, the GST should be fixed at 5%.

The prime minister's aide appreciated the suggestions and said that they could help revive economic activities in the country. He hoped that the G-20 countries postpone Pakistan's debt payments amounting to $1.8bn.

Shaikh said that Pakistan had received $1.4bn in aid to mitigate the damage inflicted by the coronavirus from the International Monetary Fund. He said that recommendations from the think tank will be taken into account on a short, mid, and long-term basis.

PM Imran will soon chair a session of the think tank as well, he said, adding that Pakistan will seek help from international experts as well in its attempt to mitigate the economic impact of the virus.