(24th November 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 Friday said leave-taking of finance minister Ishaq Dar has increased challenges for the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
Second LNG terminal has become operational reducing energy scarcity substantially, therefore, the PM should give full attention to the state of the economy, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that shortcut of the devaluation of currency should not be used which is not a sustainable solution rather cost of doing business for the export sector should be reduced.
He said that exports have shown growth of seven percent in the last month which is good but not sufficient. The government should implement export package, pay all the refunds and reduce the price of electricity and gas so that Pakistan products can compete with competing nations.
The business leader said that price of natural gas in Bangladesh is three dollars per mmbtu, it is 7.6 dollars per mmbtu in Pakistan while the LNG costs almost 11 dollars per mmbtu in Pakistan which is almost four times costly than gas in Bangladesh.
The price of natural gas in Vietnam is 4.2 dollars per mmbtu while its 4.5 dollars in India which is a great disadvantage for the Pakistani exporters, he informed.
The price of electricity is almost double in Pakistan as compared to the regional countries which is also a hurdle in production and exports.
He said that government can consider uniform gas prices, stop penalising masses for the theft of energy and abolish GIDC to help external sector.