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KARACHI: The Pakistan Businesses Forum (PBF) urged the government to fix the dollar rate for six months and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) should offer to swap the dollar funds into rupees cheaply for the borrowing banks. For this SBP could raised substantial funds to US five billion dollars; as country reserves is depleting about six weeks’ worth of imports only.

PBF senior vice-president Muhammad Riaz Khattak said rupee keeps falling daily and the Nepra has increased electricity tariffs due to which business community is badly affected.

Khattak proposed a non-political, inclusive, sustainable Charter of Economy for better economic growth and development.

PBF vice-president Ahmad Jawad said we were very positive that the incumbent prime minister could bring a noticeable change in the governance, administration and delivery on the back of his proven track-record to successfully implement reforms but in his three and half months tenure economy of the country become further bleak.

The current account deficit (CAD) swelled to $ 17.4 billion in FY22, which could be the most painful shock for an economy already in trouble with serious imbalances. We have external financing needs of about $34 billion in the next 12 months to pay off debts.

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail should start inclusive consultative process with the stakeholders in the business community and take them into confidence on how the government will be able to manage the CAD.

He noted that food inflation has crushed the masses on the back of international fuel and commodities prices and supply-side mismanagement. The government must swing into action with the assistance of private-sector to ensure food security.

Ahmad Jawad further condemning the policy rate hike said that raising the policy rate to 15 percent can very well be proven as the last nail in the coffin of SMEs; which are already under dire strains due to the burgeoning cost of doing business; abysmal ease of doing business indicators; difficulties in access to finance; uncertainties in access to foreign exchange and regionally- uncompetitive costs of electricity and gas.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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