Anti-govt protests in Pakistan caused losses of Rs 547 billion, says report

Islamabad: Anti-government protests in Pakistan have hampered growth with authorities estimating Rs 547 billion losses to the economy and Rs 5 million worth damage to public property, according to a media report.

The sit-ins organised by Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) and cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri's Pakistan Awami Tehreek have also resulted in the cancellation of a visit by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and postponement of Chinese President Xi Jinping's maiden visit.

 Anti-govt protests in Pakistan caused losses of Rs 547 billion, says report

Imran Khan during a protest in Pakistan. AP

"The international image of Pakistan has considerably been shattered," the government said in a response to the Supreme Court on Thursday when asked about the losses due to the protests.

Last week, the Supreme Court had asked Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Salman Aslam Butt to submit details of financial losses as well as losses to public property, killings and expenditure on law and order in lieu of the protests in Islamabad.

The government has so far estimated overall losses to the economy at Rs 547 billion, the Express News reported.

Out of the total, Rs 228 billion have been estimated on account of 4.3 per cent depreciation in the value of Pakistani rupee against the US dollar, the report said.

Another Rs 319 billion was estimated due to decline witnessed in the stock market. However, the Karachi Stock Exchange has now entered the recovery mode on the back of reports suggesting that the contesting parties have agreed to resolve the issue through dialogue, it said.

The government has also claimed that political uncertainty has adversely affected financial markets and foreign currency reserves have declined to USD 13.52 billion from the USD 13.926 billion in the week that ended on August 15.

The additional cost of security has been estimated at Rs 357.6 million. An amount of Rs 226.8 million has already been released, while ministry of interior has requested Rs 130.6 million additional funds as of August 29, the report said.

The damage to public property has been estimated at Rs 5 million by the Capital Development Authority, it said.

The equipment of state-owned Pakistan Television was also damaged while protestors burnt a police vehicle besides damaging 17 others.

So far, 717 persons have been injured including 202 police personnel and three protesters also lost their lives, according to official estimates.

The government machinery has come to a standstill.

Schools have remained shut with children losing valuable learning time.

PTI

Updated Date: Sep 08, 2014 15:13:45 IST