The pandemic of coronavirus has badly affected the whole world. The whole socio-politico-economic structure has changed. The number of deaths has crossed 700,715 and still, the situation seems uncontrolled. Here we try to look at the immediate post-COVID steps by Pakistan.
Unemployment is also spreading rapidly. Only in the USA, the biggest economic power, more than 40 million people have gone out of jobs.
Our immediate neighbor India who also has the same socio-economic outlook has been the third-worst hit nation in the world only after the United States and Brazil.
The economies of developing countries like the USA, the U.K, and Germany, etc are at a stake. The rapidly falling prices of oil have aggravated the situation. The compulsory isolation of the people at home has caused the closure of factories and workplaces. Undoubtedly, isolation at home is the most appropriate step to avoid the present pandemic.
Pakistan was also expected to fare as badly as the countries mentioned above but the country has surprised everyone in and out with its quick decline in the pandemic. Nonetheless, it has impacted the economy of the country, the people are facing multiple kinds of problems that include joblessness, victimization by the coronavirus, shortage of medical resources in Pakistan and depression arising because of being isolated. The industrialists and traders are upset due to the closure of their businesses.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan in this calamity has come with the two solutions which have been greatly appreciated by the people of the country. One is the smart lockdown and the other is the startup of the construction industry.
Pakistan is a developing country and is facing the big problem of debt servicing as a big part of its GDP. Although the G-20 countries have extended the payment of 1.2 billion dollars for Pakistan and it is a blessing today. But the country cannot afford to stop economic activities for a long time. Soft lockdown means to start business activities, keeping view of the strict SOPs.
SOPs could be with reference to the timings, a number of employees at workplaces, sanitation conditions, social distances, etc. One should be hopeful that if these SOPs are followed, the concept of soft lockdown can meet the success. Consequently, the economy of the country can come out of the crises even in this worst international economic depression.
As far as the opening of the construction sector is concerned, it should be kept in view that there are about 40 industries that work jointly with the construction industry. This is the reason that whenever there are economic crises, the economist suggests starting the non-development projects. The cement industry, the glass industry, the sanitary industry, etc. are highly labor absorbing industries. The related shops will also generate the business to a greater extent.
People of Pakistan should keep the spirit high and try to enter the post-COVID world with new energy as frustration destroys the future and hope and proper direction with zeal and determination build the future.