Pakistan Institute of Development Economics

Slowdown or Shutdown Pakistan’s Dilemma
Publication Year : 2020

Pakistan is now facing what has come to be known as the ‘Lockdown Paradox’- the paradox to save economy by shutting it down fast. The relation between the pandemic and the measures meant to mitigate it present this painful paradox. A prolonged period of fighting the outbreak would delay an economic rebound in the long run, with an increased health cost as well. The Dilemma Quicker the normal life shuts down, the faster the health crisis could be resolved. but How would the poor and the vulnerable cope with a complete shutdown? PIDE COVID-19 Bulletin (PIDE CB) No. 1 has already noted the likely unemployment in various given scenarios. Layoffs are inevitable, especially in industries like travel, retail stores, food outlets and the informal sector. For when we try to learn from international experiences, then the most effective example that comes out is of China. The quarantine experiment in China that is now being termed as a lockdown/shutdown, seemed very hard at the start and a compromise on individual rights. But it has paid off and now is being widely appreciated and also replicated. Countries which had initially followed a policy of only closing borders are now moving to the position of shutdown, for example UK, Australia and New Zealand. So, what are the options for Pakistan in this context?