Pakistan’s economy contracts for first time in 68 years
In what can be seen as the biggest failure of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s leadership, Pakistan’s economy is set to contract in the outgoing fiscal year with a negative 0.38 per cent for the first time in 68 years.
This development comes at as the country struggles at a time when adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic coupled with the already weak financial situation before the pandemic hit the country.
Advisor on Finance Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, released the Pakistan Economic Survey 2019-20 and said that the economy suffered massively due to the corona-virus pandemic which has so far infected about 120,000 people in the country. The Pakistan govt was forced to impose lock down in March for several weeks.
Except for the agriculture sector that grew 2.7 per cent, the industrial and services sectors witnessed negative growth rates, pulling the overall growth rate down to negative 0.38 per cent in the fiscal year 2019-20, ending on June 30, the economic survey said.
India rejects rating actions by international agencies
The Centre virtually rejected rating actions by international agencies, saying India’s fundamentals demand a much better sovereign rating and the country’s willingness and ability to repay debt is gold standard.
In first official comments since Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the country’s rating and S&P retained it at the lowest investment grade, Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian said India’s economy will witness a decline in the current fiscal, but the drop will be limited if there is an economic recovery in the October-March period.
S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings has forecast India’s economy to shrink by 5 per cent in the current fiscal, while Moody’s has projected growth to contract by 4 per cent.
Congress writes to PM, seeks probe into Assam gas well tragedy
The opposition Congress urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to initiate a high-level probe into the gas well tragedy of Oil India Limited in Assam and said strict action should be taken against those found responsible for it. Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi demanded Rs one lakh each for the affected families in the Baghjan area of Tinsukia district as an interim financial assistance.
The well number 5 at Baghjan in Tinsukia district has been spewing gas uncontrollably for the last 16 days and it caught fire on June 9, killing two of OIL’s firefighters at the site.
The memorandum urged the prime minister to institute a high-level inquiry into the incident and take action against those officials who are found responsible for it.
The party demanded that petroleum ministry officials be deputed, along with experts, to take effective steps on a war footing to control the situation and restore normalcy.