KARACHI: Chairman of National Business Group and President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), Mian Zahid Hussain has welcomed improvement in the value of rupee against the US dollar and demanded that its benefit should be transferred to the masses.
He said that strengthened rupee has added to the problems of exporters which should be tackled.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that increasing remittances have played a major role in firming up the local currency which has also reduced the current account deficit to satisfactory levels.
He said that government should try to keep the momentum in remittances in the remaining months of the current fiscal and the incoming year.
He said that dollar is now fourteen rupees cheaper, last year dollar was traded for Rs166.70 in the interbank which is now being traded for Rs152.76.
The introduction of Roshan Digital Account by SBP is also a good move as it has opened new avenues for investment by expatriates and so far they have invested 806 million dollars which is an achievement by the governor of central bank Dr Raza Baqir.
He noted that dollar will slide to Rs150 if the momentum of remittances and investment in the Roshan account continued as Pakistan received remittances worth $18.743 billion from July 2020 to February 2021 which were 24.1 percent more than the corresponding period.
He said that 500 million dollars loan from IMF and $2.5 billion Euro bond auction will not only increase debt burden and create an issue of balance of payments but also strengthen the rupee.
Some experts are of the opinion that remittances may not support the rupee for long therefore the government should tackle issue of reduced exports of goods and services and increasing imports, he said.
He said Russia and western countries continued to trade during the tense days of cold war, therefore, we should also start trade with all the neighbours.
We should not compromise on our principled stance but start business as the issue of Kashmir cannot be resolved unless Pakistan becomes a significant economic power so that no country, including India, will risk relations with Islamabad, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that all the diplomatic and political moves have failed to resolve the issue of Kashmir and war is out of options leaving economic ties the only option to improve things.
He said that political tensions have dragged Saarc region down with frictions between India and Pakistan as its core reason.
The negative attitude of India and the arms race has pushed millions below the poverty line in the region while the majority of world’s poor reside in this region.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021