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KARACHI: Vice President of Pakistan Business Forum (PBF) Chaudhry Ahmad Jawad urged all political parties to agree on economic charter in order to ensure the continuity of economic policies.

Talking to Business Recorder, he called on the country’s policymakers to find a possible solution to debt servicing. Without it, our economic growth will continue to deteriorate.

Pakistan should not afford new economic policy after every 5 years, that’s why our FDI is decreasing.

As Quaid said “If we want to make Pakistan prosperous, we must focus on the welfare of the masses.”

On govt’s energy conservation policy, Jawad responded that PBF has already supported the federal government’s decision to implement an energy-saving policy, which plans to close shops by 8pm and wedding halls 10pm due to the current difficult economic situation. As our energy import bill has increased to $28 billion and if continues to increase like this, it will create more difficult situations, he asserted.

“We suggested to the government to extend restaurants’ timing till 11pm. This will save over Rs62 billion per year.”

He said markets around the world close around 6pm or 7pm and Pakistan is the only country that is not using the benefits of daylight. The current economic situation forcing people to change their habits. If the country remains within its own resources, people must change their habits. Even in the very affluent Gulf countries, markets close at 9-10pm.

“We should tell people that the implementation of these measures is inevitable and Anjuman-e-Tajran should understand that it is unavoidable. You are not ready for a flat tax, nor are you in favor of the government’s energy saving policy.

Pakistan’s total debt is around $125 billion as of today, and that’s certainly a lot of money for us.

The big Chinese and American companies are three times bigger than our total debt. The value of China Petroleum & Chemicals Corporation is $326 billion and that of Wal-Mart Inc of the US $570 billion.

Jawad said the burden of paying foreign debt and subsequent interest is increasing economic uncertainty. The country continues to borrow, mainly to pay back old loans and finance current account deficit.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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