(01 Jan, 2018)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said that New Year will bring opportunities and challenges.
The economic difficulties of the government will increase in 2018 while the energy scarcity will be reduced due to enhanced imports of LNG, he said.
The local currency will shed more points while will result in inflation and increased burden of loans, he said, adding that government will be unable to take tough decisions in the election year resulting in increased deficit and reliance on borrowing.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that auction of bonds provides temporary relief and the government will have to go to IMF to avert default while the IMF will impose stringent terms as the relations between Pakistan and US was become sulky.
There will be no notable change in exports, remittances and investment while the rupee will remain under pressure due to multiple reasons including the flight of the capital, he said
The veteran business leader said that the political temperature will rise in the election year resulting in rallies, sit-ins and protests while will cast a negative shadow on the already struggling economy.
There will be no improvement in relations with the US, India or Afghanistan while the ties with China and Russia will improve.
The former minister said that agricultural sector is expected to show robust performance during the new year while the law and order situation will also improve due to the efforts of the Army.