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KARACHI: The UBG leadership, Zubair Tufail, Former President, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI), Daro Khan, Former President-FPCCI, Shaikh Khalid Tawab, Former Senior Vice President SVP-FPCCI, Mazhar Ali Nasir, Former SVP-FPCCI, Muhammad Hanif Gohar, Former SVP-FPCCI, Irfan Sarwana, Former Vice President VP-FPCCI, Arshad Farooq, Former VP-FPCCI, Shaheen Sarwana, Former VP-FPCCI, Tariq Haleem, Former VP-FPCCI, Noor Ahmed Khan, Former VP-FPCCI and others firmly insists on the immediate declaration of economic emergency to effectively address the pressing economic challenges facing the country and propel it towards sustained progress and macroeconomic stabilization. They emphasize the need for emergency economic comprehensive reforms to yield tangible results.

Country’s economy is going through the worst period in its history, affecting all economic sectors. There has been a substantial fall in exports, foreign investment, and exorbitant fluctuations in the value of the dollar.

Additionally, high utility charges, power shortages, gas and water supply issues, and a deteriorating law and order situation have further worsened the economic landscape.

Pakistan is facing severe economic challenges due to long-standing structural weaknesses, low foreign reserves, a depreciating currency, and high inflation.

Economic activities have sharply declined due to policy tightening, import controls, high borrowing and fuel costs, low confidence, and prolonged policy and political uncertainty and decline of IMF for bailout package.

These factors have severely aggravated the country’s economy, demonstrating the failure of the present government’s claims for economic uplift.

The high inflation has caused great hardship for the people, with essential commodities becoming increasingly unaffordable. The nation finds itself in a desperate situation, hoping for relief in the near future.

The UBG highlights the importance of a comprehensive economic reform agenda encompassing multiple facets of the economy.

These reforms should prioritize key areas such as fiscal management, monetary policy, trade and investment promotion, industrial growth, infrastructure development, and human capital development.

Fiscal management reforms would involve ensuring prudent expenditure management, enhancing revenue generation through effective tax reforms, curbing wasteful expenditures, and reducing fiscal deficits to create a favourable economic environment.

The government must strive to improve the efficiency and transparency of public spending, ensuring that resources are allocated judiciously and in line with national development priorities.

To promote trade and attract foreign investment, the government must implement policies that foster a favourable business climate.

This includes streamlining regulations, reducing bureaucratic hurdles, ensuring ease of doing business, and offering incentives to both domestic and foreign investors.

The new government should prioritize the development of export-oriented industries and explore new markets to enhance the country’s export potential.

Industrial growth can be stimulated through targeted measures such as facilitating access to affordable credit, promoting technological innovation and research and development, improving infrastructure, and providing a skilled workforce.

The government should actively collaborate with industry stakeholders to identify bottlenecks and implement reforms that promote competitiveness and productivity.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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