Economic decline accelerating. One percent growth rate would be an achievement. Energy...

Economic decline accelerating. One percent growth rate would be an achievement. Energy saving decision may not be executed.

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(December 23-2022)

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 Friday said the speed of economic decline is increasing.

Global rating agency S&P has downgraded Pakistan’s credit rating to triple C plus which will have a negative impact on the economy, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the government had projected five percent growth for the current year, but even one percent growth would be a miracle as the worst floods in the history of the country and measures to control imports to curb the trade deficit will take a toll on the economy.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that if the cold attitude of the IMF and friendly countries and the political instability in the country continue, the growth rate will fall below one percent.

Former Finance Minister Miftah Ismail announced the growth rate to five percent in the budget speech on June 11. Later, the central bank estimated the growth rate to be between three and four percent, while the World Bank first issued an estimate of four percent and later cut it to two percent.

Meanwhile, the IMF had predicted the growth rate to be less than two percent in October, while now the central bank is preferring to remain silent on the growth rate, which shows the criticality of the situation.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that due to flood damage, inflation, closure of factories, and other factors, inflation and poverty are increasing rapidly in the country, which has worried the people, but no special measures have been taken in this regard.

The government has once again announced to take measures for austerity and has issued a list in this regard, which it claims will save billions of dollars if implemented.

These measures include the closing of markets and restaurants at 8 pm, a fifth of the government employees working from home, introducing electric motorcycles and low-power bulbs, fans, and other devices, converting buildings to solar energy, and saving water and energy.

The announcement of these measures is welcome, but such announcements have been made dozens of times before, but the public and shopkeepers have never followed them. The current government has also made such an attempt six months ago which did not yield any results and it is likely that this announcement will have an insignificant impact.

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