(December 31, 2021)
Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said 2021 was a disappointment for the masses and the business community.
In the outgoing year, Pakistan became one of the most expensive countries in the world taking a toll on the poor and middle-class because of poor governance, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that during 2021 the US dollar shattered the rupee, inflation and unemployment skyrocketed while the price of petrol, gas and electricity jumped to unprecedented levels.
Talking to the business community. The veteran business leader said that LNG could not be imported on time due to poor governance which led to an energy crisis in the country.
Imports of furnace oil led to the closure of refineries, sharp rise in prices of electricity, gas and petrol made life difficult for the masses while there was no improvement in any sector.
He said that there was some increase in remittances due to travel restrictions while the main reason for an increase in exports was the depreciation of the rupee and inflation in export markets.
Mian Zahid Hussain further said that the government could not get the loan from IMF despite its efforts during this year, friendly countries also turned a blind eye to Pakistan’s problems while the situation of CPEC remained unsatisfactory.
China did not invite the relevant minister to visit its country in 2001 while it has acted the same during two previous years which should be enough to open everyone’s eyes.
During the same year, the government’s estimates of economic recovery proved to be based on assumptions, with the dollar which was selling at Rs152 in May, now standing at Rs178, forcing the government to borrow heavily from various sources.
The trade deficit has increased significantly during this year while raising interest rates has also started. The government continued its policy of targeting the poor to increase its revenue and reduce its deficit, no real reforms have been initiated in any sector and now a mini-budget is behind introduced to further burden masses.
In three years, the volume of foreign debt has increased from $95billion to $127 billion, while the volume of domestic debt has increased from Rs16.5 trillion to Rs 27 trillion.
Influential groups are getting enormous benefits which will make it difficult for the authorities to meet IMF conditions, he warned.