(March 18, 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 due to unavailability of urea, reduction in farmer’s profit and mismanagement, wheat production is likely to decline sharply.
Import of wheat should not be deliberately delayed like in the past as it will pave way for a serious crisis, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that wheat imports from Ukraine may not be possible this year due to the war.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the export of maize should be banned immediately to reduce its price in the market.
The price of flour and bread is already very high and it should not be allowed to become more expensive, he said, adding that taking advantage of the shortage of wheat profiteers will try to increase the prices of rice and maize which need to be stopped.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that almost half of rice production is exported from Pakistan. Some reduction in rice exports will reduce its price which will benefit the masses and the intensity of the wheat crisis will be tackled to some extent as it is also a staple.
He noted that the rupee has been depreciating continuously for many years which is a reflection of the state of the economy while it has put an indescribable burden on the people and the business community.
This should be stopped or else the local currency will become tissue paper and new records of inflation will be set in the country.
The record depreciation of the rupee has led to an unbearable increase in the volume of loans. Such a drastic depreciation of the rupee had happened only once in the past when the country was divided.
Mian Zahid Hussain further said that along with the economic situation, political chaos is also causing the rupee to depreciate while important economic decisions are not being made in time which is sending a negative message to investors.