(July 20, 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 Wednesday said the business community was hoping for political stability after staff-level agreement with IMF after hectic negotiations by by-elections has resulted in more instability.
Now the economy is facing renewed threats as the value of the USD has increased by Rs16 to touch the mark of 226 in three days, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the value of the dollar against the rupee has jumped by Rs42 during the tenure of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that exchange rate erosion has deprived the masses of any benefit of reduced oil and commodity prices in the international market.
He said that the international situation is not good but the rupee is feeling the pinch of the local political situation which includes a power struggle in Punjab and concerns about the future of the federal government.
Political frictions are resulting in uncertainty among the business community while investors are worried over the possibility of new general elections.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that there is no hope for the masses to get relief in the current difficult environment.
The officials have claimed that the IMF will provide a tranche of 1.2 billion dollars while friendly countries will be lending 4 billion dollars which were reassuring but the irresponsible statements of some politicians following the by-elections have worried the international investors while the lenders can also think twice before a favourable decision.
The nation should be united to face the current problems but some elements are trying to destabilise the economy which is like adding fuel to the fire.
The investors are unsure about what will happen tomorrow in Pakistan therefore they are unwilling to invest in this country as the stock market has lost 1600 points while a credit rating agency has downgraded its rating for Pakistan.
Mian Zahid Hussian said that the masses may face more inflation, unemployment and uncertainty as the politicians have decided to remain divided.
IMF loan is being delayed while the lender has asked the government to increase power tariff by Rs8 per unit, the country is already facing an electricity and energy crisis while a recent report has Pakistan fourth in the list of countries facing the threat of bankruptcy but politicians are still not serious and acting as a destabilizing factor, he said.