Value of rupee and dollar has to be left to market to boost exports. Exports fell by $5 billion due to controlling currency value, other factors. Overall business environment for exports has to be improved.

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(July-24-2023)

Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain said on Monday that strengthening the value of the rupee makes exports difficult while making imports cheaper.

A strengthened currency reduces exports and increases imports, which drain the forex reserves, and the country has to borrow, which burdens 240 million people in the country, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the value of the rupee and dollar must not be controlled to boost exports and remittances. Efforts to control the value of currency reduced textile exports by $2.8 billion in 2023.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that non-textile exports, which were 12.46 billion dollars in 2022, fell to 11.23 billion dollars in 2023.

He said that in order to increase exports, it will also be necessary to improve the overall business environment by looking at issues such as energy price and uninterrupted supply, access to capital, tax refunds, import restrictions, competition, the supply chain, and the implementation of positive policies.

The business leader said that it has become impossible for the business community to increase production and exports by borrowing at a 22 percent interest rate, while exporters are unable to invest due to delays in refunds, which is a major obstacle to increasing exports.

Mian Zahid Hussain added that the textile policies made since 2014 have not been fully implemented, which not only affects the confidence of investors but also affects exports.

If the textile policy had been fully implemented, it would have been possible to increase the textile exports by 25% per year. Under the State Bank’s Temporary Economic Refinance Facility (TERF) scheme, an investment of three hundred billion rupees was made in the country at a very low mark-up, which increased exports by 5 to 6 billion dollars, but due to the non-supply of gas and electricity, their increasing prices, and other problems, this investment could not be taken advantage of.

The energy price should be at par with the other countries in the region; otherwise, investments would be lost and many people would become unemployed.

Mian Zahid Hussain further said that the textile mills located in Punjab and Sindh are getting gas at different prices, due to which many problems are arising, but despite the claims for years, this problem has not been solved.

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