KARACHI: The business community on Wednesday urged the government and the opposition to end their standoff and focus on the economy to avoid bankruptcy as foreign exchange reserves were insufficient to meet import bills from three months.
Expressing their deep concern over the tense political situation in the country as well as the deteriorating economic situation, they urged political leaders to realize the seriousness of the situation.
Businessmen Group (BMG) chairman Zubair Motiwala said business and industry feared the economic situation would worsen further if all political parties continued to play tug of war instead of realizing the seriousness of the the situation.
Regardless of political differences, the economic policies once agreed and implemented under the Charter of the Economy must remain intact and all political parties must remain on the same page when it comes to the economy. “Instead of politics, the economy must run the country at all costs, so all political parties must be patient and take the steps that were in favor of Pakistan and its economy.”
The BMG chairman said exports will be negatively affected under the current circumstances and overseas buyers will be reluctant to place an order given the overall political and economic instability, which may also delay export shipments.
The Pakistani Rupee depreciated to its lowest level in history today as banks did not retire or accept any documents as they claimed they had no dollars to pay , which created a very disturbing scenario, undermining company morale and confidence. community. “The business community is of the view that all this mess is due to political instability, and Pakistan’s economy is not that bad as exports are up 24% from last year,” he added.
The Chairman of the Korangi Trade and Industry Association (KATI), Salman Aslam, expressed concern over the significant decline in the value of the rupee against the dollar and foreign exchange reserves.
The dollar value exceeded Rs189; a decline that began before Eid has increased economic hardship. The government faced an alarming situation on two fronts. The first was the increase in dollar value, while the second was the decline in reserves. Aslam said the $10 billion in reserves held by the central bank included $3 billion in aid deposited by Saudi Arabia. “The government cannot spend the deposited Saudi aid, which means paying three months of import bills is difficult.”
The KATI chairman urged the government to urgently manage a bailout of friendly countries, as even a tranche of $1 billion from the IMF at this stage would be insufficient to reduce the difficulties. “At the moment, we need a major bailout, which will immediately relieve the pressure on reserves and the rupee.”
Salman Aslam said negotiations with the IMF should be finalized and efforts should be made to seek cooperation from friendly countries. He urged the government to use all resources to avoid bankruptcy to support the economy.