(June 28, 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 that the central bank has left the local currency on the mercy of market forces despite assurances. Leaving rupee high and dry has broken the back of the masses and pushing economy towards disaster, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the debt stock continues to increase by hundreds of billions of rupees, prices of everything is out of control but policymakers seem to be unconcerned therefore the Prime Minister Imran Khan should intervene immediately.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the country has been burdened by 23 billion dollars against the promise of IMF to provide six billion dollars which is beyond understanding.
The former minister noted that a few days back the central bank assured that rupee will not be left alone and the exchange rate would be kept stable through intervention whenever necessary. The assurance of SBP was welcomed by the business community and other concerned circles but the hopes were short-lived as the dollar has jumped again out of sight.
The central bank officials have repeatedly claimed that no more devaluation is required due to stability and once they claimed this when the dollar was traded at Rs150 but rupee is still subjected to merciless attacks, he observed. The rupee is losing value as the date for the final decision on IMF loan is approaching which has left the business community undecided while prolonged uncertainty can slow down and later put brakes on the economic activity.
A probe is needed to ascertain that who is benefiting from exchange rate vitality and hike in the price of sugar and other commodities, he demanded. He said that hike in gas price amounts to a mini-budget before the approval of the annual budget.