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KARACHI: Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, Mian Zahid Hussain said that due to the ongoing political unrest in the country, the economy is being negatively impacted, and record inflation has made life difficult for the people.

In these circumstances, the present government is trying to manage the economy and provide relief to the people. The Prime Minister is also trying to give all possible relief to the people. Instead of selling cheap goods through utility stores, the government should increase the purchasing power of the poor by providing targeted subsidies in the form of cash through banks.

He said on that a reduction of 18 rupees in the value of the dollar in the open market is temporary. According to government instructions, credit card payments will now be made from interbank instead of open market, as a result of which the demand for dollars will be transferred from open market to interbank and due to the increase in payment pressure, the rate of dollar will increase in interbank.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the new directions will reduce the rate difference between the two markets, which had reached to around Rs30.

He said that increased interbank dollar value will benefit exporters, while overseas Pakistanis will also incentivize to send money through banking channels and the government will have more dollars than before.

He said that in the next six months, the government also has to pay about 10 billion dollars of imports by the private sector on a 365 days loan, which is a serious problem.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the drastic reduction in the prices of petroleum products, cooking oil, flour and LPG will reduce inflation which has crossed 38 percent.

The government is making plans to provide relief to the public and the business community in the coming budget, which are welcome, but in the current financial year, the FBR is facing a revenue shortfall of Rs440 billion.

The success of the IMF’s latest review and chances of a tranche are slim, which raises question that how will the government give relief to the people in this situation.

He said that the previous government made wrong decisions to reduce the electricity and petrol prices to prevent the success of the no-confidence motion, which was in violation of the agreement with the IMF, and such wrong decisions led to the bankruptcy of the country.

The lender is not happy with the breach of the agreement and has stopped paying the loan instalments. The current government has accepted all the strict conditions of the international organization for the revival of the programme, but IMF is not satisfied.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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