Second wave of virus can badly hit economy: Mian Zahid Hussain

KARACHI: Former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain has said the second wave of coronavirus can be more dangerous for the masses and the economy.

The government and the central bank should take steps to save the masses and the economy from the impact of the virus. Banks and some other businesses remained profitable during the first wave of coronavirus but the second wave may erode the profitability of many sectors which has raised concerns, he said.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the second wave can increase the number of defaults closing down businesses and leaving people unemployed.

It can also have a negative impact on investment and expansion plans as the ratio of defaults jumped over one percent during the first wave. Mian Zahid Hussain said that during the first wave of viruses, banks extended the repayment period for loans worth Rs650 billion while rescheduled Rs184 billion of loans otherwise the ratio of defaults could have been higher.

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The business community has been offered a break up to December 2020 but now it must be extended as the second wave was not expected at the time of the decision to provide relief to the reeling businesses.

He said that our major export markets including the US, EU, and the Middle East are still facing the pandemic which can hit exports for which planning is needed.