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 country is going through a very critical economic period and in these circumstances, a long march will bankrupt the country.
PTI should postpone this decision to hold a long march in the larger interest of the country, otherwise, everyone will have to regret it, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that expecting an unstable government to bring economic stability to the country is like asking for too much.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said political destabilization will lead to a sharp increase in poverty and inflation and the people will suffer more.
How come a short-term government can bring long-term economic benefits to the country, he said, adding that early elections will prove to be poison for the economy.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the repeated downgrades of Pakistan by international credit rating agencies have made it difficult for the country to take loans from the commercial market as they have become more expensive.
The government needs $32 billion in the current fiscal year to pay off foreign debt and deal with the current account deficit, but many creditors are unwilling to lend due to the ratings downgrade.
He said that it is possible for the government to raise capital by selling the failed government enterprises that are losing six hundred billion rupees annually, but due to political instability, the country is not in a position to sell any assets or mortgage anything.
The foreign exchange reserves are also negligible. Apparently, the foreign exchange reserves are at seven and a half billion dollars, but among them, 2.3 billion dollars are loans from China, 3 billion dollars are from Saudi Arabia, 1.2 billion dollars from the IMF and the rest of the commercial banks, which if removed, the foreign exchange reserves will be zero, he observed.
The investment atmosphere in the country is weak, the foreign direct investment has decreased by 47%, the investment in Pakistan Investment Bonds and Treasury Bills has slipped to zero, while the visit of the Finance Minister to America has not benefited Pakistan and now hopes are attached to Saudi Arab and China.
Pakistan has to pay 30 billion dollars to China, of which 10 billion dollars is due this year. If China does not reschedule the loans for a few years, the country may go bankrupt, he warned.