Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Floods have halved Pakistan's economic growth

Amir Saeed at the Thomson Reuters Foundation: Three years of repeated floods have inflicted serious damage on Pakistan’s economy, halving its potential economic growth, an expert says. “The impact of floods on Pakistan’s economy is colossal as the economy grew on average at a rate of 2.9 percent per year during the last three years,” said Ishrat Husain, an economist and director of the Institute of Business Administration in Karachi.

That is less than half the 6.5 percent that Pakistan could potentially have managed if it weren’t facing the economic and human losses associated with the flooding, Husain said.

Flooding is hardly the only impediment to economic growth in the troubled South Asian country. Worsening power shortages, “a poor law and order situation and a host of other structural impediments” also are holding back investment and growth, Husain said.

But extreme weather presents an especially worrying economic challenge, he said, because the country can work to reduce its energy crisis and improve law in order, but has limited scope to avert natural calamities, other than trying to devise effective mechanisms to minimise its losses.

The Pakistan Economic Survey shows that Pakistan lost a total of 3,072 lives and $16 billion to the floods in 2010, 2011 and 2012....

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