January 25, 2016
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), All Karachi Industrial Alliance, Former Provincial Minister of Information Technology and First Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel (BMP) of FPCCI, Mian Zahid Hussain stated that IMF also endorsed his viewpoint, published in all leading newspapers on January 20, 2016, that nosediving exports compelled Pakistan away from availing benefit of low oil prices and robust remittances from overseas Pakistanis and if revolutionary steps not taken in time, it would have severe pressure on Foreign Reserves (FOREX) and Balance of Payment (BOP). Tokhir Mirzoev, the IMF resident representative in Pakistan reiterated the same during an informal chat with selective journalists on January 22, 2016 at Islamabad.
Mian Zahid Hussain stated that exports in July to December 2015 declined to US$ 10.315 billion as compare to that of July to December 2013 US$ 12.639 while, Remittances from overseas Pakistanis immensely increased to US$ 9.735 billion in July to December 2015 as compare to that of US$ 7.792 billion in July to December 2013.
Mian Zahid Hussain disturbingly stated that in last two years, decline of 18.39% in exports was that much severe that could collapse the economy and it has not only neutralized the impact of enormous increase of 24.94% in remittances but also lead toward drawing from IMF, additional imposition of taxes of PKR 40 billion and devaluation of Pak Rupee (PKR) against US Dollar. Mian Zahid Hussain stated that devaluation of PKR and loan from IMF have created additional pressure on Pakistani Economy by increasing debt servicing. He fear that repayment to the IMF and Paris Consortium loans would push the debt servicing as high as US$ 10 billion in the next two to three years.
Mian Zahid Hussain suggested Govt. to secure existing facets and search for new avenues to increase export proceeds. He further stated that encouraging efforts are needed from Govt. and Govt. Institutions. He also stressed the need to laid down the performance criteria for each and every institution. He shockingly stated that the Govt. assigned responsibility to increase exports to antediluvian and biased, who lived in their silos and only support people from their faction. Govt. should remind them that their primary objective is to increase exports instead of anything else, he added.
PBIF Chief stated that IMF also endorsed viewpoint that structural reforms are critical to economic success. Comprehensive monitoring system for tax audits, enact amendments to the Penal Code 1860 and the Code of Criminal Procedures 1898 and enact amendments to the Gas (Theft Control and Recovery) Ordinance 2014.
Former Provincial Minister further stated that IMF also authenticated the view to privatize bleeding Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs). Privatization will enhance the quantity and quality of goods and services, strengthen public finances by reducing budget deficit, broaden and deepen capital markets and will promote healthy competition hence reduce opportunities for corruption, he added.