Home Weekly Reviews Economic and Political Weekly 14-06-2020

Economic and Political Weekly 14-06-2020

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Politics

As of 14th June latest on corona Virus

Cases and deaths due to corona Virus as of  13th June
  cases Deaths
World 7,724,615 427,626
Top 10 countries
USA 2,116,211 116,815
Brazil 829,902 41,901
Russia 511,423 6,715
India 309,603 8,890
UK 292,950 41,481
Spain 290,289 27,136
Italy 236,305 34,223
Peru 220,749 6,308
Germany 187,251 8,863
Iran 182525 8,659
Turkey 175,218 4,778

 

News about corona virus epidemic

The Saudi Ministry of Health has reported 3,045 new cases on Sunday, taking the total to 119,942.

Iran’s death toll from corona virus exceeds 8,890.

  • A statue of Christopher Columbus in Boston has been beheaded, police said Wednesday, as calls to remove sculptures commemorating colonizers and slavers sweep America on the back of anti-racism protests.

A Columbus statue was also vandalized in downtown Miami, and another was dragged into a lake earlier in the week in Richmond, Virginia, according to local reports. The incidents come as pressure builds in the United States to rid the country of monuments associated with racism following massive demonstrations over the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis last month.

·Protesters tear down statue of slave trader as anti-racism demonstrations take place worldwide

Anti-racism demonstrators in the UK tore down a statue of a 17th-century slave trader, rolled it through the streets and dumped it in the sea on Sunday, in a dramatic act of protest that has shown a spotlight on the country’s stubborn colonial legacy. Protesters in Bristol, southwest England used ropes to rip down the monument of Edward Colston, a local merchant who made the bulk of his fortune from the slave trade in the late 1600s. His statue had stood in the city since 1895, but its presence in the multicultural city had become increasingly controversial. Crowds cheered and knelt on the statue after it was toppled, before pushing it to Bristol’s harbor and throwing it into the water.

·King Leopold II statues are being removed in Belgium. Who was he?

While statues of slave traders, imperialists and US Confederate leaders are being torn down, removed or protested against in the English-speaking world, Belgium has begun removing statues of its one-time King Leopold II. Never heard of him. Who was King Leopold II? One of the most brutal and ambitious of the 19th century European exploiters of Africa, Leopold II was king of Belgium for more than 40 years, from 1865 to 1909. 

·Corona virus: New Zealand to lift most restrictions as virus eliminated, PM says

New Zealand has eliminated transmission of the novel corona virus and will lift all containment measures except for border curbs, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on 8th June, making the South Pacific nation one of the first countries to do so. The government will drop social distancing restrictions form midnight on Monday as it moves to a level 1 national alert from level 2, Ms Ardern told a news conference. Public and private events, the retail and hospitality industries and all public transport could resume without social distancing norms still in place across much of the world. “While we’re in a safer, stronger position there’s still no easy path back to pre-Covid life, but the determination and focus we have had on our health response will now be vested in our economic rebuild,” Ms Ardern said. “While the job is not done, there is no denying this is a milestone. So can I finish with a very simple ‘Thank you, New Zealand.’?”

·Armenian PM sacks army chief for ‘violating corona virus restrictions’.

 Armenia’s prime minister sacked the heads of the army, police and national security service on 8th June, saying they had set a bad example over corona virus restrictions. Nikol Pashinyan did not spell out what they had done, but the announcement came after a newspaper said the army’s Chief of the General Staff, Artak Davtyan, had held a party for his son’s wedding on Sunday at a time when mass gatherings are banned. “It’s the high-ranking officials who must show the importance of following anti-epidemic rules with their own example … However, sometimes the opposite happens,” Pashinyan said at a meeting, after announcing the sackings on Face book.

·China begins clinical trials of neutralizing antibody Covid-19 treatment

The Institute of Microbiology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced on 6th June that its application for fully human monoclonal antibody clinical trials for Covid-19 has been approved by the National Medical Products Administration. With this update China’s domestically produced corona virus antibody medicine has entered into a clinical evaluation phase, reported the Global Times. In phase I, the clinical trial will test the safety and dosage of the neutralizing antibody among healthy people. A Beijing-based immunologist, who requested anonymity, told the Global Times that the trial marks a breakthrough in the treatment of Covid-19 around the world.

·President of Burundi dies after cardiac arrest, according to government

Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza died after suffering a cardiac arrest on 8th June, according to a statement posted on the official Burundi government Twitter account. “The government of the Republic of Burundi presents their most sincere condolences to the Burundian people in general and to his afflicted family. Burundi has just lost a dignified son of the country, the President of the Republic, a Supreme Guide of National Patriotism,” the statement said.

  • 81 killed in bloody Boko Haram attack in Nigerian village

At least 81 people were killed in an attack on a village by suspected Boko Haram militants in northeast Nigeria, the Borno state government said in a statement released on 10th June. Residents said the men attacked the village in armored tanks and trucks filled with guns, according to the government’s statement. Seven people, including the village head, children and women, were abducted from the Faduma Kolomdi community, described as a nomadic town in northern Borno. Residents reported that the men gathered the villagers on 9th June morning and started shooting in the incident which lasted several hours.

  • A bomb exploded on 12th June inside a mosque in western Kabul, killing at least four people, including the prayer leader, and wounding eight, an Afghan government official said.

Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said that the bomb had been placed inside the mosque but had no additional details.

Economy

  • Emirates has decided to reduce 50 per cent basic salary of its employees in grade four and above, including those in equivalent grades, from July 1.

The airline’s executive vice president human resources issued an update on the salary reduction, saying: “We continue to navigate the impact of Covid-19 on our business and are reviewing all possible options to preserve our cash position. As a result, we have had to take the difficult decision of extending and widening the reductions on basic salary until September 30.”

GLOBAL INDICES AS OF 14th June 2020

As Compared to 7th June 2020

 

Global indices as of 14th June 2020
Name Current Value Prev.Close
US MARKETS
 NASDAQ (Jun 12) 9,588.81 9492.73
EUROPEAN MARKETS
 FTSE (Jun 12) 6,105.18 6076.70
 CAC (Jun 12) 4,839.26 4815.60
 DAX (Jun 12) 11,949.28 11970.29
ASIAN MARKETS
 SGX NIFTY (Jun 13) 9,910.00 9899.50
 NIKKEI 225 (Jun 12) 22,305.48 22472.91
 STRAITS TIMES (Jun 12) 2,684.63 2704.21
 HANG SENG (Jun 12) 24,301.38 24480.15
 TAIWAN WEIGHTED (Jun 12) 11,429.94 11535.77
 KOSPI (Jun 12) 2,132.30 2176.78
 SET COMPOSITE (Jun 12) 1,382.56 1396.77
 JAKARTA COMPOSITE (Jun 12) 4,880.36 4854.75
 SHANGHAI COMPOSITE (Jun 12) 2,919.74 2920.90

 

Global indices as of 7th June 2020
Name Current Value Prev.Close
US MARKETS
 NASDAQ (Jun 05) 9,814.08 9615.81
EUROPEAN MARKETS
 FTSE (Jun 05) 6,484.30 6341.44
 CAC (Jun 05) 5,197.79 5011.98
 DAX (Jun 05) 12,847.68 12430.56
ASIAN MARKETS
 SGX NIFTY (Jun 06) 10,280.00 10164.00
 NIKKEI 225 (Jun 05) 22,863.73 22695.74
 STRAITS TIMES (Jun 05) 2,751.50 2707.20
 HANG SENG (Jun 05) 24,770.41 24366.30
 TAIWAN WEIGHTED (Jun 05) 11,479.40 11393.23
 KOSPI (Jun 05) 2,181.87 2151.18
 SET COMPOSITE (Jun 05) 1,435.70 1411.01
 JAKARTA COMPOSITE (Jun 05) 4,947.78 4916.70
 SHANGHAI COMPOSITE (Jun 05) 2,930.80 2919.25

 

Pakistan

As of 14th June latest on corona Virus

Position as of 13th June 2020 as compared to 6th June 2020

Cases 13th June

Death 13th June

Cases 6th Jun

Death 6th Jun

Increase cases

Increase death

125,933

2,463

93,983

1935

31950

528

 

  • News About Corona Virus

More than 100,000 cases of corona virus have been recorded, health authorities said on Monday, as hospitals warned they are running out of beds to treat patients. Pakistan — and neighboring India and Afghanistan — have lagged behind Western nations in virus tolls, but experts warn a lack of testing or accurate reporting in rural areas could be hiding true figures. In recent weeks, however, a sharp rise in new infections has been reported, and on Monday the government said more than 100,000 cases and 2,000 deaths had now been recorded.

Lockdown not a solution to Covid-19 pandemic: However PM Imran also warns of taking strict action against corona virus SOPs violators.

Prime Minister Imran Khan on 8th June said that a lockdown is not the solution to the Covid-19 pandemic. “When a country introduces lockdown restrictions, it is slowing the spread of the virus,” said the premier while addressing the nation. He added that we, as a people, must realize that Pakistan is a poor country and there was no other choice to reopen businesses. “The entire world understands now that lockdowns are not a solution.” He gave the example of the United States and said the country had the highest number of corona virus cases and deaths but the still went ahead and reopened the country.

  • General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of the Army Staff, and Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, had a phone conversation on 8th June about the polio eradication program.

The COAS said that despite Covid-19 outbreak in the country, Pakistan Army in support of the government’s efforts had made preparations to restart the anti-polio campaign in the coming weeks. The two discussed the challenges in the face of pandemic threat and efforts to enhance the resilience of population through education, flexible healthcare management and use of technology. The army chief thanked Mr. Gates for his foundation’s efforts towards the noble cause and said that every initiative aimed at betterment of Pakistan and its people would be fully supported and appreciated.

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) — in a letter addressed to Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid — has recommended that the country impose an “intermittent lockdown” to curb the spread of Covid-19, noting that the country doesn’t meet any prerequisites for lifting restrictions as was done on May 1 and then on May 22

The letter dated June 7 by WHO Country Head for Pakistan states that the corona virus has spread to almost all districts in the country, with major cities making up a majority of national cases. Government intervention on April 12 detailing social distancing measures, including movement restrictions, closure of schools and businesses, international travel restrictions, and geographical area restrictions were instituted with the aim of limiting the spread of the disease. However, the partial relaxation of restrictions has caused the rate of infection to increase, the letter noted. Pakistan’s corona virus cases surpassed the 100,000 mark last week. As of June 9, more than 110,000 Covid-19 cases and 2,000 deaths have been reported.  According to Dr Yasmin Rashid whatever the WHO had said is correct and that the government would “consider” it. It has already been proposed to lockdown areas where a large number of cases are being reported but this decision will be taken by the cabinet committee, she concluded.

·COAS Bajwa meets President Ghani in Kabul

Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa made an unannounced visit to Kabul and met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on 9th June. On its official Twitter account, the Pakistan Embassy in Kabul released a picture of General Bajwa and Ghani at the presidential palace. The Army chief was accompanied by Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director-General Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed and Pakistan’s special envoy on Afghanistan Muhammad Sadiq.

  • At least twenty people were killed while eight others were injured after a multi-storey residential building in Lyari’s Liaquat Colony collapsed on 7th June night.

Edhi officials said rescue operations were under way to find those buried underneath the rubble. Saad Edhi said that rescue workers had pulled two bodies from the rubble; one of a woman and the other of a child. He added that between eight to 10 injured citizens were taken to Civil Hospital for medical treatment.

  • Former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi PML-N leader Marriyum Aurangzeb PML-N’s Tariq Fazal Chaudhry and incumbent Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid tested positive for the novel corona virus, joining a growing list of politicians who have contracted the disease. Khurram Shahzad of PTI also came under the same epidemic.

Earlier PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb confirmed Khaqan had been diagnosed with the virus, adding that he had quarantined himself at home but then she and other politicians also fell under the same disease.

  • Showbiz dignitaries tested positive for the novel corona Virus.

Nida Nasir, Yasir Nawaz, Wasay Ch and Shafaat Ali the show business figures are also under attack by Corona Virus

· Four dead, four injured in Faisalabad oil depot blaze

 

At least four workers died after a huge fire broke out in an oil depot on Abbaspur Road in Sudhar area on 8th June evening. The bodies of the workers charred in the blaze were retrieved, while four others were shifted to a local hospital with severe burn injuries. Rescue 1122 teams and 16 fire engines reached the site of the incident to extinguish the fire. The blaze engulfed the oil drums in different parts of the depot with the workers trapped on the premises.

· Two soldiers martyred in North Waziristan IED attack

Two Pakistan Army soldiers embraced martyrdom when their patrolling vehicle was targeted through an improvised explosive device (IED) in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s North Waziristan district, according to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on 10th June martyred while two other soldiers sustained injuries during the attack in South East of Miranshah. Last month, seven paramilitary troops were martyred in two separate terrorist attacks in Balochistan.

  • Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah on 11th June barred the government from acting on the recommendations of the investigation report of the Sugar Inquiry Commission, which blamed industry barons for misuse of public money and cartelization leading to massive price hike of the commodity in the country.

The court issued the stay order for 10 days — when the next hearing is fixed — after representatives of the sugar industry agreed to sell the commodity at Rs70 per kilogram during this time.

  • One person died while 12 others were injured in an explosion in Rawalpindi’s Saddar area on 12th june.

However, Deputy Commissioner Retired Capt Anwarul Haq told Dawn.com that 15 people including two children were injured. He added that two of the injured were taken to Cantonment General Hospital while 13 were shifted to District Headquarter Hospital. He said that the nature of the blast has not been ascertained yet. However, police spokesperson Sajidul Hassan said initial reports suggested that the explosive material was planted in a nearby electric pole.

  • “A loud rumble echoed and water started trickling down with soil and rocks. Villagers immediately left their homes and fled to safety,” recounted Manzoor Hussain. Hussain lives in Hassanabad, a village in the Hunza valley high in the Hindu Kush Himalayas in northern Pakistan.

It was siesta time on May 30 when the rumbling started. “It was not the first time, so people in the village knew what was happening. They were aware of glacial lake outburst floods [GLOFs]. They thought it was a GLOF at the Shish per glacier,” said Hussain.

Economy

· PIA facing Rs6b loss every month, PM told

The chief executive officer of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has said the national flag carrier is facing a loss of Rs6 billion every month due to travel restrictions imposed by a number of countries in the wake of corona virus pandemic. “A sum of Rs24 billion is being spent yearly alone on payment of salaries to the PIA’s 14,500 employees,” CEO Air Marshal Arshad Malik said on 8th June while briefing Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was chairing a meeting on the reforms and restructuring of the national airline.

  • Government came up on 11th June with negative picture for the economy in Economic Survey.

The provisional GDP growth rate for fiscal year 2020 is estimated at negative 0.38 per cent against a revised target of 2.4pc.industry recorded -2.64pc while services sector recorded -3.4pc growth. Transport and communication growth also came in at -7.1pc for Jul-April 2020Inflation Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation for the period July-April 2020 came in at 11.22pc. Overall tax collection by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) grew to Rs3,300.6 billion during July-April 2020.During July-March FY2020, current account deficit reduced by 73.1pc to $2.8 billion (1.1pc of GDP).The fiscal deficit went down to 4pc of GDP during July-March 2020 against 5.1pc of GDP in the comparable period last year, the survey revealed. But the government warned that by the end of the fiscal year on June 30, this deficit could widen to 9.2pc of the GDP

  • Industries Minister Hammad Azhar on 12th June announced a Rs7.1 trillion budget in a bid to revive the stalled International Monetary Fund (IMF) program, which both the opposition and experts termed unrealistic and full of internal contradictions.

The proposed overall budget deficit target is 7% of the GDP or Rs3.2 trillion despite the government knows that the deficit cannot be less than 8.5% of the GDP in the next fiscal year. “The Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) tax collection target will be Rs4.963 trillion The proposed size of the new budget is Rs101 billion or 1.4% higher than the original budget of the outgoing fiscal year. About 60% of the proposed budget will be consumed on paying interest on loans (41.2%) and on defense spending (18%), leaving very little for other expenditures. Another 13.3% of the proposed budget will be consumed in running the civil government and paying pensions. In a rare move, the government could not announce increase in salaries and pensions of the federal government employees and pensioners after the IMF clearly warned about its consequences.

F.C Exchange Rates of PKR as of  14th June 2020 as compared to 7th June 2020
Countries PKR rate as of 7th June   2020 PKR rate as of   14th June  2020
U.S.A. $ 163.50 165.00
U.K. Pounds 206.00 209.00
Euro 183.00 185.00
Japan Yen 1.52 1.52
Saudi Arabia Rial 42.50 43.50
U.A.E. Dirham 44.00 44.50

Pakistan Stock Exchange Indices

As of 14th June 2020 As Compared

To 7th June 2020

Position as of 14th June 2020
Symbols KSE100 Index PSX-KMI All Shares Index
Advance 82 (Curr) Current 34611.23 Current 17090.52
Decline 206 (High) High 35128.58 High 17343.90
Unchanged 27 (Low) Low 34503.94 Low 17059.14
Total Change 315  -517.35  -253.38
Position as of 7th June 2020
Symbols KSE100 Index PSX-KMI All Shares Index
Advance 166 (Curr) Current 34350.42 Current 17070.94
Decline 102 (High) High 34367.74 High 17091.50
Unchanged 24 (low) Low 34081.76 Low 16898.97
Total Change 292  231.03  151.82

 

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