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April 12, 2023: National Current Affairs MCQs
1. Indian plans to host G20 moot in Srinagar draw Pakistan`s ire
• Pakistan on April 11, 2023 slammed India for plans to hold a meeting of a G20 working group in Srinagar, terming the move `irresponsible and self-serving` on the part of New Delhi.
• `Scheduling of two other meetings of a consultative forum on youth affairs (Y-20) in Leh and Srinagar in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) is equally disconcerting,` a Foreign Office statement issued on April 11, 2023 said.
• The move is the latest in a series of self-serving measures to perpetuate its illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir in sheer disregard of the UN Security Council resolutions and in violation of the principles of the UN Charter and international law.
• Such events cannot hide the reality of Jammu and Kashmir being an internationally recognised dispute that has remained on the agenda of United Nations Security Council for over seven decades, nor could such activities divert international community`s attention from India`s brutal suppression of the people of Indian-held Kashmir, including illegal attempts to change the demographic composition of the occupied territory, the FO statement said
2. IMF slashes Pakistan`s growth outlook to 0.5pc
• Hinting at entrenched high inflation, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on April 11, 2023 lowered its forecast for Pakistan`s economic growth rate for the current fiscal year to just 0.5 per cent, with inflation going beyond 27pc and the unemployment rate increasing to 7pc.
• This showed an unambiguous deterioration of economic fundamentals over the last six months since October when the Fund forecast the country`s gross domestic product to grow by3.5pc against 6pc for 2022 ago and inflation at 20pc against 12.1pc last year amid a slowdown in the global economy and devastating effects of floods.
• Meanwhile, global headline inflation is set to fall from 8.7pc in 2022 to 7pc in 2023 on the back of lower commodity prices, but core inflation excluding the volatile energy and food components is likely to decline more slowly, the IMF said
3. Finance minister briefed on outsourcing of three airports to IFC
• Aviation Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique on April 11, 2023 briefed Finance Minister Ishaq Dar about the progress pertaining to arrangements with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) on outsourcing of three major airports across the country.
• Mr Dar was presiding over a meeting on civil aviation at the Finance Division on April 12, 2023.
• Minister for Railways and Aviation Khawaja Saad Rafique, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Finance Tariq Bajwa, aviation secretary, special secretary Snance and senior officers from the Snance and aviation ministries attended the meeting.
• The meeting discussed the legal and financial challenges being faced by the aviation authorities in the restructuring of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and deliberated upon the prospects and opportunities available in this regard
4. E-commerce transactions fall, paper-based deals rise
• Despite mounting pressure on banks to go digital, the number of e-commerce transactions declined in the first half of the current fiscal year while the total e-banking value in the first quarter also dipped.
• The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Tuesday issued both the first and second quarterly reports on the Payment System for 2022-23. The reports reflect that despite all efforts electronic payments still need the trust of the account holders. One of the key indications is the Banking Ombudsman`s reports showing that complaints have been increasing particularly about e-transactions.
• At the same time, the value of paper based transactions significantly increased from Rs46.6 trillion in Q2F Y22 to Rs54.8tr in Q2FY23, suggesting growing trust in paper-based transactions
5. Doha deal detrimental to region`s peace, NA body says
• The Doha agreement between the Afghan Taliban and the US proved detrimental to the region`s peace and stability, a National Assembly panel observed on April 11, 2023.
• National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs` head Mohsin Dawar said the nature of the agreement signed in February 2020 in Qatar`s capital Doha to end the war in Afghanistan and the preceding negotiations were exclusionary in nature.
• Addressing the committee`s meeting on Tuesday, he added that Pakistan facilitated the deal without realising its potentially adverse implications for regional peace and stability.