(December 25, 2020)
Chairman of National Business Group of FPCCI, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said the current account situation is continuously improving since five months which is a very encouraging sign.
The current account surplus is strengthening forex reserves and this momentum should continue to help the economy remain on the positive side, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the current account was in surplus to the tune of 447 million dollars in November as compared to a deficit of 326 million dollars during the last year.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the current account surplus has remained 1.64 billion dollars during the first five months of the ongoing fiscal while it was negative by 1.75 billion dollars during the first five months of 2019.
He noted that a reason behind the surplus is jump in exports due to problems in other markets and tensions between the US and China while the more important season is disruption of illegal channels to transfer money which has resulted in legal inflows.
The Pakistanis residing in foreign countries are sending remittances through legal channels which has resulted in an improvement of 27 percent but it can be short-lived as vaccines have been introduced and normalisation may result in a fall in exports and remittances.
The country needs to keep momentum in exports and remittances for which steps should be taken otherwise the current account situation may deteriorate, he warned.
The business leader said that the price of steel bars has increased by Rs18000 per tonne while the price of cement is also increasing. Steel millers cite a hike in price of raw material in the international market for hike while the builders and developers are terming it a conspiracy against construction activities, he said.