Early payment of $1 billion of Sukuk bonds lauded. Payment has dispelled rumours of bankruptcy. Aggressive policy needed to increase exports, remittances.

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(December 05-2022)

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 Monday lauded the government for early payment of one billion dollars of Sukuk bonds.

The central bank has paid one billion dollars against bonds two days ahead of schedule and with this, the rumors of Pakistan’s bankruptcy have been proven wrong.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the position of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has also been proven correct, while the anxiety of international investors has also decreased, but investors will be fully satisfied when there is political stability in the country

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that after the end of the long march, there is a possibility of improvement in the political situation.

If the economy is prioritized instead of politics while taking important decisions, the financial condition of the country will improve, he added.

The business leader said that Pakistan’s reputation in the global market has improved due to early payment, and the value of Pakistani bonds has improved, but the concerns of investors have not gone away.

Saudi Arabia has also extended the deadline for the return of three billion dollars kept in Pakistan the day Pakistan paid one billion dollars. The Saudi decision has strengthened the confidence in the Pakistani economy.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the comparison between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in terms of bonds is not correct because Pakistani bonds are hardly seven to eight percent of the debt and the remaining is commercial, multilateral, and bilateral. On the other hand, Sri Lanka’s half of the debt consisted of international bonds.

He further said that fifteen months ago, Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves were twenty billion dollars, now they are seven and a half billion dollars, which can barely bear the burden of five to six weeks of imports.

Presently, the textile sector has come under pressure, while the remittances through legal channels are also decreasing due to the increasing difference in the dollar rate in the interbank and open market.

In these circumstances, the government should make an aggressive export and remittance policy to increase the foreign exchange reserves so that the necessary imports can continue, otherwise, a crisis situation will arise in various sectors of the country, many businesses will go bankrupt and hundreds of thousands of people will lose their jobs.

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