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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.


Weekly Pakistan Construction & Quarry

Published Date: Apr 26, 2020

IMF supports Pak govt aid for the construction industry

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday approved the Pak government’s construction plan to employ daily wage workers.

They also recommended proper taxation for petroleum products, transports, beverages, and tobacco sector.

This was stated by the IMF’s resident representative in Islamabad, Teresa Dabán Sanchez, at an online policy dialogue, organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). She said Pakistan needed to move the way with taxation in line with good taxation principles which sometimes required increasing the tax base and sometimes tax rates.

She said the performance of Pakistan’s economy prior to the emergence of COVID-19 and its devastating impacts had been quite satisfactory and the Fund was quite happy the way Pakistan was implementing different policies to achieve fiscal consolidation and macroeconomic stability. She said the IMF would continue to provide its support to the country to face the socio-economic challenges posed by COVID-19 and would work closely with the authorities on how to develop a roadmap and make it part of a good budget for next year.

Ms. Sanchez on the occasion also mentioned the IMF toolkit to fight the COVID-19 shock that included the Rapid Finance Instrument (RFI) under which it approved $1.4bn financing to Pakistan. She noted that the IMF’s assessment of the situation was that COVID-19 would reverse the decline in public debt that resulted from fiscal consolidation efforts. This would also result in an increase in the primary deficit.

She appreciated the government decisive response to COVID-19, including cash transfers to most vulnerable families, eliminating import duties on several items, and other initiatives to provide relief to the low-income segments of society.

Commenting on the opening up of the construction sector, she said that the IMF supported the opening of the labor-intensive sector where daily wage earners would be absorbed. However, she hoped that the amnesty announced for investment in the construction sector was temporary in nature, and would be withdrawn once the situation became normal. The IMF, she said, recommended that Pakistan, as well as other countries, recalibrate their policy actions going forward so that the regulatory measures taken were temporary and regulatory relaxations might not be necessary for the future as they could create problems, according to a statement issued by the SDPI.

She said the ongoing Existing Fund Facility (EFF) program was very much intact and the IMF was working closely with the authorities in Pakistan and the next review mission might take place virtually.

Regarding the EFF, she said, as the medium-term economic outlook was changing, the two sides had to recalibrate everything from targets to trajectories. “However, we need to continue working on EFF as a framework as the program provides continuity along with a healthy and sustainable trajectory from an economic point of view,” she said, adding that it was encouraging that the government was committed to fiscal consolidation and reforms once the situation normalized.

About the overall impact of COVID-19 on Pakistan’s economy, the IMF resident representative said there would be a significant cut in imports from Pakistan, the remittances would drop, tax collection would reduce considerably and the growth rate might reduce to -1.5pc.

It is in this context that funds under the RFI arrangement would help Pakistan to bridge the gap in immediate financing needs. About the post-COVID-19 scenario, she said: “The IMF is working to make Pakistan as competitive and open as possible by making it more export-oriented and an attractive destination for investment.”

Responding to a question, Ms. Sanchez stated IMF experts in Washington were trying to bring State Bank’s legislation in line with best practices. “We have no bias for or against any person to chair SBP’s board. It is purely Government of Pakistan’s discretion,” the statement quoted her as saying.

While highlighting Pakistan’s recent engagements with the IMF, SDPI Executive Director Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri said COVID-19 had brought socio-economic uncertainties with a lengthy period of emergency response that would result in the global recession.

This “new normal”, according to the UN, would be accompanied or followed by a severe food crisis. In these circumstances, multilateral lenders such as the IMF would have to redefine their role as a socio-economic savior to ensure “stability” of the “stability” that the IMF talks about.

“Among all deficits that Pakistan is facing today, the trust deficit between people and the IMF, may also lead to the trust deficit between people and the government, which Pakistan cannot afford during these testing times,” added Dr. Suleri.