(June 22, 2022)
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 Wednesday said the government is constantly swallowing the bitter bullets of difficult decisions despite political difficulties while negotiating some conditions of IMF that include an increase in revenue target, implementation of petroleum levy and privatization of sick government units.
Delays in the agreement with the IMF have caused market instability and panic, and the rising value of the dollar has outweighed the natural disasters, while all efforts to overcome the erosion of the rupee have failed, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the rupee is sliding on a daily basis, people and the business community are worried and there is great unrest in the market.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that political and economic instability was on the rise while foreign exchange reserves were dwindling which is reducing the value of the rupee leading to a sharp rise in inflation and poverty.
He said that delay in the decision of the IMF, Arab countries and China to lend to Pakistan was aggravating the situation.
The banks have run out and the dollars and they are using foreign exchange deposited by the account holders.
Unnecessary imports are not being stopped which is increasing the revenue but collapsing the economy, he observed.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the rupee has depreciated by more than 32% in a short span as the central bank has not been able to intervene in the market due to foreign exchange reserves falling below the level of nine billion dollars.
The SBP has also stopped selling dollars for a month which has increased its demand, he said, adding that the rupee is depreciating sharply on a daily basis and without an agreement with the IMF.
It has become impossible to stop the rupee’s depreciation which is making everything more expensive and affecting exports.
In these circumstances, remittances worth 57 million dollars from Pakistanis living abroad in a single day are a record and a welcome development.
An agreement with the IMF is possible in the next few days which will help the government and will begin to stabilize, he said.