(September 20, 2019)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday demanded steps to end pessimism in masses and business community through result-oriented intervention.
Current account deficit has been reduced during the last two months which has supported foreign exchange reserves to some extent but it isn’t enough, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that growth and production in the industrial sector is on the decline, textile, general industry and large scale manufacturing is in tatters, auto production has been halved, agriculture, textile, services, local and foreign investment, and stock exchange are facing problems while other sectors are also going down.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that exports are not picking up and borrowing continues to increase which is hurting the GDP.
The former minister noted that prices of many necessities has been increased by 123 percent, the gas price has increased by 143 percent in one year, power tariff has increased by 12 percent, petrol is now 23 percent dearer, unemployment has jumped by 5 percent, medicines have become costly up to 200 percent, health facilities are seven percent expensive and education has become expansive by 7 percent.
He said that inflation has broken the back of masses and it is generally believed that the situation will go from bad to worse as economic realities cannot be kept hidden from the masses who are facing it on daily basis. The masses who were pinning hopes on the government to improve the situation in record time has deteriorated it million have lost jobs and businesses.
He said that power loom owners in four districts of Punjab have decided to go on strike, car dealers of Lahore have planned to lay siege to Governor House, hospitals have no medicine and vaccines leading to deaths which has infuriated masses.
The economic realities have swept away the optimism of masses and their disappointment, as well as frustration, is increasing by the day.