VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: June 12, 2020

Hafeez blames Covid-19 for Rs3 trillion GDP loss: DAWN

The data released by the government presented a dismal economic performance as all indictors painted broad-based setbacks and Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh blamed Covid-19 for a loss of over Rs3 trillion to the national income. Presenting the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2019-20 at a press conference on Thursday — a day before the announcement of the federal budget for financial year 2020-21 — the adviser spent a large part of his speech building narrative around inheriting a troubled economy and putting it on road to recovery before the Covid-19 pandemic hit economies of the world and Pakistan. Click here to read....

Ghani, in Atlantic Council Online Event, Talks Peace: TOLO News

In a virtual interview given for the Atlantic Council on Thursday, Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani laid out his vision for peace in Afghanistan and highlighted the importance of a ceasefire and reduction in violence to kick start the intra-Afghan talks. "I think now we are on course and next week we should be able to inform the world of the next steps," President Ghani told Atlantic Council’s Stephen Hadley as they discussed intra-Afghan negotiations. Click here to read....

Budget FY21: Allocation for Disaster Ministry reduced: Dhaka Tribune

Allocation for the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry has been reduced in the national budget for the FY21 compared to the outgoing financial year. “I propose to allocate a total of Tk9,836 crore for the upcoming 2020-21 fiscal year for disaster management and relief, which was Tk9,872 crore in current fiscal 2019-20,” said Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal while presenting the budget in the parliament on Thursday. Click here to read....

Myanmar diverts special telecoms fund to biometrics database: Myanmar Times

The Myanmar government plans to use a special telecoms fund to set up a biometrics database for mobile phone users despite concerns over the lack of privacy protection. The tender for setting up and operating a biometrics SIM card database closed on June 9. The government’s decision to tap the Universal Service Fund - intended by law to expand telecoms access - has raised objections by civil society activists who say it runs counter to the policy of the Ministry of Transport and Communication. Click here to read....

Youth-led protests against the government’s handling of Covid-19 spread to major cities: The Kathmandu Post

On Thursday, over a thousand people gathered near Bhatbhateni in Kathmandu for a peaceful protest which was organised by youths through different social media platforms demanding that the government improve quarantine conditions, make wider use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and make public the Covid-19 expenditure report. Click here to read....

Failing to implement govt.’s guidelines won’t hesitate to sack CB or State Bank officials: President: Daily Mirror

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday warned that he would not hesitate to remove officials of the Central Bank (CB) or State Banks from their positions if they fail to take steps to implement the guidelines formulated by the government. Speaking at a meeting held with a large number of leading exporters at the Presidential Secretariat, President Rajapaksa said he would continue to work with individuals who are ready to fall in line with the government’s guidelines after removing officials who fail to do so. Click here to read....

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