(May 13, 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 Friday said a weak economy can no longer weather aggressive politics.
Rapidly deteriorating economic situation and rising political temperatures is a perfect combination to bankrupt the country, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that economic instability and uncertainty are compounded by delaying important decisions as well as the contradictory statements of key leaders.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the situation in the country is worrisome and the war between Russia and Ukraine has resulted in inflation, shortage of agricultural commodities and unrest on the global level.
He said that the new government has not come up with a clear economic strategy and way to deal with the situation which is irritating.
The people and the business community had breathed a sigh of relief when the present government came to power and they were expecting an improvement in the economic situation but all their optimism was gone and now they are terrified.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the friendly countries have given only assurances to the government after which it has no option but to go to the IMF for a loan.
He noted that inflation is already 13 percent which will increase further if IMF conditions were imposed which will dent the reputation of the government but there is no other way to bridge the deficits.
He underlined that if the bitter pill of IMF conditions was not swallowed then the economy will be completely destroyed within months.
At present the rupee is constantly weakening, the dollar is becoming more expensive, imports are rising and the current account and fiscal deficit are also increasing which needs to be addressed otherwise Pakistan will soon be bankrupt like Sri Lanka.
Mian Zahid Hussain further said that in order to reduce the imports, the duty on at least a dozen sectors should be increased by two hundred to three hundred percent to cut the import bill.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the present government was well aware of the economic devastation, economic landmines laid by its predecessor and overall precarious economic situation and if it did not have the courage to take tough decisions in the national interest then what was the need to assume power.