(May 24, 2019)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said government wasted nine months to inaction which severely damaged the economy. Serious threats being faced by the economy have retreated and now it is moving towards stabilization, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the dollar cannot keep a nuclear Pakistan as a hostage for long as the rupee is gaining its value against the US currency.
Talking to the businessmen, the veteran business leader said that tough decisions have been taken, bitter pills have been swallowed and now the government should start working to improve the economy so that the masses and the business community can take a sigh of relief.
The former minister noted that revenue and exports are stagnant for last ten months while investment has been reduced by 50 percent because former rulers were criticized for blunders but nothing was done to improve the situation. Inflation is rising, the rupee has lost worth and interest rate hike has shaken the economy while imports have been reduced for which credit goes to the policies of the government, increase cost of imports and price hike. The deficit of the first nine months of the current fiscal stands at Rs 29 trillion, foreign loans have been increased by ten trillion rupees while debt on every citizen has increased by Rs33 thousand. If the government failed to honour its commitments with IMF it will have to pick the begging bowl after three years, he warned.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that Saudi decision to give oil worth $3.2 billion will reduce pressure on the rupee and the government and improve the balance of payments situation.
Talks for oil on deferred payments have also been initiated with UAE which if materialized will also help to improve the economy. Pakistan will have to spend around fifteen billion dollars on oil imports and the government is trying to get half of it on deferred payments which are a good decision, he said. The loans would be returned as soon as the economic situation improves.