(18 July, 2018)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of and former provincial of Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said political instability caused PKR devaluation by 26 percent within 6 months, while USD has reached to Rs. 130 in the open market. Pakistan stock exchange (PSE) is declined by 2200 units resulted in huge losses of Rs. 470 billion over the last six months.
The veteran business leader while talking to the business community said due to dollar has appreciation against Pakistani rupee the external debt burden has increased by approximately Rs. 3000 billion. Further appreciation of dollar is expected and it seems that USD will reach PKR 135 to 140 which will not only increase foreign debt burden but will cause raise in prices of all products including petroleum. Policy rate has reached 7.5 percent after 1 percent recent increase by the State Bank and further raise of 2.5 pc in base rate is expected in coming few months. Amplified interest rate will significantly increase the cost of doing business and discourage investment which can adversely affect the Country GDP and stagnant the economic activities.
The former minister said revolutionary and immediate steps are required to be taken to increase Country’s exports to overcome the worsening economic situation of the Country. For this purpose, an urgent conference should be called, comprising of top 100 exporters where a sustainable strategy of export promotion should be formed. Sector specific autonomous companies should be established, where each Company is allowed to make reforms for the export boom in its respective sector. Each Company should be responsible to increase existing share of Pakistan in the international trade and get access to new international market in their respective sectors including garments, towel, leather garments, surgical goods, sports goods, carpet, shoes, fruits, vegetables, information technology and rice. Each Company should take care of branding, value addition, research, processing, certification, financing and quality control of respective products and should be comprised of famous experts for each sector.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that increased exports will result in balance of trade, increased foreign exchange, industrial development and improved local & foreign investment, which is highly desirable. Tax base should be widened instead of increasing tax rate to support economy in a long run. For political stability and long lasting peace in the Country, institutions, Government and political leaders should collectively work so that Pakistan grows and attain the level of economically strong Islamic Country in the World.