Pakistan’s exports to fall $3bn owing to coronavirus: Dawood

--Says the govt is reviewing recommendations after Bangladesh approved loans for businesses on 2pc interest rate

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood has said the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has called for deferring debt payments to one year, but commercial banks are not cooperating with the business community in this regard.

“Commercial banks want more guarantees on the matter,” the Adviser said while briefing the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Commerce on Wednesday.

The government was in contact with the central bank in this regard, he added.

Dawood said the Bangladesh government has approved loans for businesses on two per cent interest rate. “We are also mulling over recommendations in this regard,” he said.

He said the textile sector was seeking permission to export masks but it would only be allowed after approval from the health ministry. “Currently we have banned the export of surgical or N-95 masks as it could create shortage within the country,” he said.

He said they (the ministry) have devised an export policy after consultation with the prime minister and that the Trade and Development Authority Pakistan (TDAP) has been made responsible to pursue it.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Dawood said as predicted by the IMF and the WB, the coronavirus could bring the country’s exports down by $3 billion.

“This month has witnessed a downfall of 70pc in exports as compared to the previous year,” he noted.

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