On Sunday, the business community urged senior leaders from all mainstream political parties to sit down together to iron out differences to chart a workable strategy to pull the country out of the worrisome economic crisis currently gripping the industry.
Addressing a delegation of industrialists and traders led by Pakistan Furniture Importers Association Chairman Mian Faryad Ahmad Raza, Federal Tax Ombudsman Coordinator and Minister of State Meher Kashif Younis said worsening political unrest is one of the main factors responsible for economic instability as depreciation. takes a heavy tool on stock investors, currency markets clamor for dollars amid the liquidity crunch and record the highest weekly inflation spike on record.
He said that due to domestic political upheaval, a growing current account deficit amid depletion of dollar inflows from multinational and bilateral lenders as well as dwindling foreign investment has put enormous pressure on foreign exchange reserves. and rupees over the past few months, stoked rapid inflation, forced the State Bank to raise borrowing costs to a multi-year high, and eroded investor confidence in the country.
Meher Kashif Younis said Pakistan’s current account deficit soared to $17.4 billion, or 4.6% of the size of the economy in the last fiscal year, due to the widening deficit trade, despite the multiple measures taken by the government and the SBP since the last quarters of 2021 to restrict imports. He said growing exports and expatriate remittances had helped narrow the gaping gap somewhat, but high world commodity and oil prices meant Pakistan would spend more on its energy and fuels. other imports, which doubled the oil import bill to $2.9 billion in June. $1.4 billion in May.
Meher Kashif Younis said that with the hope that the IMF will release funds soon, thereby unlocking additional financing from other multilateral and bilateral creditors, Pakistan’s external sectors are likely to recover in the short term. However, in the prevailing scenario, this is not a permanent solution, what we need is uninterrupted consistency in our economic policies, regardless of the change of government.
He feared it would be regrettable that key political leaders failed to bridge the gaps and managed on one page to save the fragile economy from total collapse in the broader national interest and failed to tackle the structural barriers to exports and FDI due to the severe political instability witnessed at the moment, he added.
He suggested that the complete ban should be maintained on all luxury items and other products made in Pakistan and also made an impassioned appeal, especially to the government and people who especially change their simple life by strictly observing austerity in accordance to the cardinal teachings of Islam.