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 Monday said the year 2022 proved to be the worst for the people, economy, and businesses.
The country plunged into floods, political, economic, and financial crises, terrorism resurfaced and the people faced unprecedented problems due to inflation and other issues.
Small and large sectors that drive the economy have been hit by the recession, and crisis for an indefinite period and the default of the country is being propagated due to political interests.
Mian Zahid Hussain while interacting with the business community said that last year was difficult for many sectors including agriculture, textiles, import-dependent industries, and the auto industry which affected the economy and caused widespread unemployment.
The Pakistani currency fell by almost 50% against the US dollar, interest rates rose to 16%, inflation remained at 31% and food prices skyrocketed while the political turmoil continued in full swing, he added.
It seems that even in 2023, the problems may not be reduced. Despite the alarming situation of Pakistan’s economy, relations with the IMF were strained by breaking promises.
The business leader noted that tensions with IMF which turned away the private creditors and friendly countries, while abandoning the free-floating exchange rate policy reduced exports and remittances.
At present, Pakistan needs billions of dollars in loans to save the country, strengthen the economy and restore economic activities, but the lenders are unable to manage it as loans from other sources can only be materialized when IMF has a positive view of Pakistan.
Mian Zahid Hussain further said that the government is repaying foreign loans but this process cannot be continued for long because no lasting solution is possible without reforms, privatization, and removing weaknesses in the agriculture, industry, and energy sectors.
Pakistan owes 30 percent of loans to Chin, and 20% of loans are from Saudi Arabia, while the IMF can relax its position if America wants, so instead of angering important countries as the previous government did, relations with all important countries should be urgently improved, he said.