Pakistan in Financial Emergency

Islamabad:  The consistent depreciation of the Pakistani rupee is deepening the economic crisis in the country, said the Pakistan Business Forum (PBF).

In a statement, PBF CEO Ahmad Jawad said: “Pakistan’s economy continues to slump despite resumption of the much-awaited International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Programme. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar must announce a clear policy on the rupee to ease the pain of traders and to save the industries.

“We still have foreign debt of $130 billion and $73 billion due in three years. Our deficit for next three years is a minimum of $20 to $30 billion. Additionally, super inflation is killing the poor. This is a financial emergency.”

He further said that “high inflation, unemployment and low profitability continue to plague the business community and despite that the government has withdrawn its electricity concession given to exporters and is projected to increase the levy on petrol and diesel to Rs50 per litre by January 2023”, reports The Express Tribune.

“Adding to their miseries, the government is also considering imposing GST — all negative indicators for the country’s economy,” he added.

“Even bond and currency markets, which had shown more confidence in Pakistan after the IMF deal, are pricing in high once again over concerns of the country defaulting on its foreign debt,” said Jawad.

“Since the end of August, the yields on some of the government’s international bonds have jumped by a third, while the currency is one of the worst performing in Asia.

“Is it not shameful for Pakistan that we rejoice in repaying the $1 billion Sukuk, but don’t take any steps to save the dollars we are wasting. Using daylight will save $3.5 billion,” claimed the PBF CEO.

–IANS

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