Moody’s slides Pakistan outlook from stable to negative, due to melting economy. Foreign reserves only $ 10 Bn only sufficient for 2 months Import bills. Success of amnesty scheme is vital to support declining economy, Date to extend.

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(22 June, 2018)

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said that Pakistan’s economy, after experiencing a better tenure is now again in trouble due to political instability, this instability may be extended to two more months, causing a further decline to the national economy. Due to this situation, the international credit rating agency Moody’s has changed the Country’s outlook from stable to negative, which will shrink trust of foreign investors and obtaining foreign loan will become more difficult and costly. Remaining foreign reserves are $10 Bn which cannot even meet two months import bills, which were supposed to suffice three months import bills as per IMF.

The veteran business leader while talking to the business community said dollar is overvalued by 15 percent in the last 6 months, while its value in last 2 weeks has increased by Rs. 6 created increase of $15 Bn in the debt burden of the Country. According to Moody’s inflation will be increased to 7 percent from 4 in the current fiscal year. Pakistan stock exchange has faced reduction of 1324 points in last two days which has caused a loss of Rs.284 Bn to the investors and public, he added.

The former minister said that business and investment situation in the Country is either stagnant or declining killing the hope of increase in foreign reserves in the near future. Exports have increased by $2 Bn as a result of the incentives for export sector provided by the former government, but it is still vital to increase exports and reduce the cost of doing business in the Country. The balance of payment deficit has increased to $16 Bn from $11 Bn in the current year as per SBP report.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that if the amnesty scheme announced by the former Government gets successful the challenges faced by national economy can be avoided as it is estimated that assets of $3-5 billion will be included in the tax net through this scheme. The caretaker government is keen to get this scheme successful and agreed 16 out of 17 suggestions provided by the Pakistan tax bar, however it is important to extend the date from June 30. If the amnesty scheme get fails, Pakistan will be compelled to acquire more loans on strict conditions of IMF and claims of breaking the begging bowl will be left nothing but words.

He said revival of the declining economy will be a big challenge for the coming elected government and it will remain a priority for it to take concrete and instant measures to significantly improve exports, attract foreign investors and develop industrial sector of the Country.

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