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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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In a first for history, PSX crosses the 77,000 milestone.

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At 77,213.31, the benchmark KSE-100 hit an all-time high, up 1,005.15, or 1.32%, from the previous close of 76,208.16.

The government’s readiness to seal an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) following the budget was cited by analysts as the reason for the upward trend.

Experts anticipate that in an attempt to bolster its position for a fresh bailout agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the budget for the fiscal year ending in June 2025 would set aggressive fiscal goals.

Budget for Pakistan, 2024–2025
Pakistan’s budget for the fiscal year 2024–25, with a total expenditure of Rs18.877 trillion, was presented on Wednesday by Minister of Finance and Revenue Muhammad Aurangzeb.

The Finance Minister, Muhammad Aurangzeb, outlined the budget highlights. He stated that the GDP growth target for the fiscal year 2024–25 is set at 3.6 percent, while the inflation rate is anticipated to stay at 12 percent.

He stated that while the primary surplus is anticipated to be 1.0 percent of GDP during the review period, the budget deficit to GDP is forecast to be 6.9 percent over the period under review.

According to the minister, tax income collection increased by 38% in the current fiscal year, and the province will receive Rs7,438 billion. The Federal Board of income expects to earn Rs12,970 billion in revenue for the upcoming fiscal year.

In contrast to the federal government’s projected net income of Rs9,119 billion, he stated that the federation’s non-tax revenue projections are set at Rs3,587 billion.

The federal government’s total outlays are projected to be Rs18,877 billion, with interest payments accounting for the remaining Rs9,775 billion.

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Pakistan currently has $14.38 billion in foreign exchange reserves.

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Pakistan’s commercial banks’ reserves, which stood at $5.28 billion at the conclusion of the week ending on June 7, rose by US$174 million, according to a central bank statement.

Reserving US$6.2 million less, the SBP now has US$9.10 billion in reserves. The causes for the decline in the reserves it had were not disclosed by the central bank.

The SBP released a statement that stated, “SBP reserves decreased by US$ 6 million to US$ 9,103.3 million during the week ended on 07-June-2024.”

The State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) foreign exchange reserves were reduced by US$ 63 million as a result of repaying external debt, with the reserves standing at US$ 9.093 billion as of earlier on June 6.

The central bank spokesperson said in a statement that as of the week that concluded on May 31, the nation’s total liquid foreign reserves were $14.31 billion.

In terms of net foreign reserves, commercial banks have US$ 5.22 billion of the overall foreign reserves, according to the SBP.

SBP reserves dropped by US$ 63 million to US$ 9,093.7 million during the week that ended on May 24, 2024, according to the announcement.

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In the local market, the price of gold plummets to Rs240,700/tola.

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Gold with a 24-karat purity level has dropped by Rs1200/tola on the local market.

Each tola of 24-karat gold is now selling for Rs240,700, with a further drop of Rs1029 bringing the price of 10 kilos of gold to Rs206,361. These figures are courtesy of the All Sarafa and Jewelers Association.

Meanwhile, after a $2 decline on the global market, one ounce of gold will be valued $2315.

A tola of gold was worth Rs 600 more on Wednesday.

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