(November 04, 2020)
Chairman of National Business Group of FPCCI, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday lauded the decision of the Prime Minister Imran Khan to provide relief in power tariff to the industrial sector.
He said that inflation rate cannot be controlled unless food prices are brought down as the government will be unable to bring down inflation if the wheat support price is fixed at Rs2000 per 40 kg, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that inflation is more widespread in rural areas as compared to urban areas where it has set new records necessitating steps aimed at relief.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that presently wheat is being sold at Rs2200 to Rs2400 per 40 kg and it can come down to Rs1800 to Rs1900 if the wheat price is fixed at Rs1600.
However, he said that Sindh and some politicians want price to be fixed at Rs2000 which will frustrate attempts to reduce inflation, rather it can increase it adding to the miseries of the masses.
Proper import of wheat can also reduce price in the market but lack of governance has emerged as a great challenge, he said, adding that price of tomato has increased by 47 percent in one week while sugar has jumped by 4.2 percent.
A good sugarcane crop may slightly reduce the price of sugar in the open market in the months to come, he added.
The business leader said that circular debt is increasing while IMF is pressurising the government to hike power tariff and taxes which will unleash another wave of inflation hitting masses, production, exports and increasing unemployment, he warned.
He noted that exports have shown negative growth in the first four months of this fiscal for which the government has improved power tariff for the industrial sector which is a good step.
The gas scarcity is hitting masses and the business community, therefore, import of LNG should be expedited without further delay, he said.