March 06, 2017
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 after some rough years oil prices are stabilising which is good news for oil producing countries and bad news for many oil importing countries like Pakistan.
The oil market appears to have found its footing and crude prices seemed to have stabilized above $50 per barrel, thanks to healthy demand, falling supplies, and a helping hand from OPEC, he said.
Sensing the change many oil producers in the west where production is costly as compared to the Middle East are putting more drilling rigs back to work, which should reverse the production decline, he added.
The former Provincial Minster said stability in the economies of oil producing countries will improve the inflow of remittances to Pakistan.
He added that the oil prices have been upward revised for six times in last a month and a half in Pakistan and the trend seems to continue as country has to repay billions of dollars of loans, he said.
Pakistan is in a difficult position as deficit is at record level to $4.72 billion in seven months of ongoing fiscal year, exports and remittances are falling and foreign investment has dried therefore taking more foreign loans seems to be the only option.
Demanding emergency measures to curtail increasing import bill, he said that SBP’s decision of imposing 100 percent cash margin on various consumer items may trigger smuggling.
CPEC, the game changing project, will not only accelerate economic activities, revenue and jobs but will also bring foreign direct investment but it will widen deficit due to increased import of heavy machinery and items linked to transport group.