Around 53pc of the country’s businesses experienced a decline in sales due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Gallup Pakistan fourth quarter report on the country’s Business Confidence Index.
In the Gallup survey, which recorded the views of people belonging to over 400 business sectors during Oct-Dec 2020, around 53pc of traders said sales were down due to the ongoing pandemic, whereas 22pc said there was actually an increase. Meanwhile, 25pc said there was no difference in their business operations during the coronavirus period.
About 56pc of businesspersons surveyed complained of declining sales in the manufacturing sector. In the services sector, the rate was 53pc, whereas in trading businesses, the rate was reported at 39pc.
According to Gallup Pakistan, the biggest decline in sales was faced by traders in spare parts and electronics sectors.
Commenting on this question, 33pc of the businesspersons said that there was a decrease of 41pc to 60pc in buying and selling. About 18pc said the decline was recorded from 61pc to 80pc, while 16pc reported less than a 20pc decrease in buying and selling during the said period.
One out of every 10 merchants in the manufacturing business said there was an 80pc reduction in sales, while 43pc traders reported a 40pc to 60pc decline in business.
Gallup Pakistan also asked the business sector to estimate the percentage of people who lost their jobs due to coronavirus.
In response to this query, 39pc of businesspersons surveyed said they had fewer employees than 12 months ago. About 16pc said more employees work with them than before, while 45pc said they still work with as many employees as they used to.
As per the survey, 50pc of traders involved in most industrial machine parts reported having fewer employees than before. After that, 45pc of the food and beverage business sector employers said that the number of employees has reduced.
At least 40pc of the country’s businesses surveyed in the poll said that they gave bribes to government officials to get their legitimate work done.
A sector-wise breakdown of the businesses showed that 56pc businessmen in the manufacturing sector said they paid bribes, as compared to 40pc in the services sector and 39pc in the trading sector.
In provinces, 50pc of businessmen from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan said they gave bribes even for legitimate work, as compared to 43pc businesses in Punjab and 31pc in Sindh.