Govt should revisit its economic policies: President ICCI

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Staff Reporter

Islamabad

President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) Ahmed Hassan Moughal has said that the government should revisit its economic policies to revive the business and investment activities in the country as the current economic policies of the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government are pushing the country towards deep problems due to which common man and business community are suffering badly.
In a statement here on Saturday, Ahmed Hassan Moughal said that exchange rate, monetary policy of SBP and tax policy of the government were the key factors behind the prevailing inflationary trends, fiscal challenges and low investments.
He said that the key economic policies of PTI government were responsible for a record high inflation rate of 11.63 per cent in Pakistan compared to 5.2pc in Bangladesh, 3.2pc in India, 5.6pc in Sri Lanka and 2pc in Vietnam.
The President ICCI said that volatile exchange rate, high energy and food prices and transportation costs were driving up the inflationary pressures due to which business sector and people were facing great problems. He said that high inflation has badly squeezed the purchasing power of the common man due to which business activities have reduced drastically.
He urged that government should reduce high POL, electricity and gas prices, bring down key policy interest rate to below 10 percent and ensure stability in exchange rate to cut down high cost of doing business and provide badly needed relief to the people.
If the current economic policies were not revised, the economy would further weaken and this situation could jeopardize the sovereignty of the country, Ahmed Hassan Moughal warned.
Senior Vice President ICCI Rafat Farid and Vice President Iftikhar Anwar Sethi said that IMF mission during its current visit to Pakistan has project economic growth of Pakistan at just 2.4 percent in FY 2019-20, which was quite disappointing as such slow economic growth would not help in promoting business and investment activities in the country and government would also not be able to achieve its tax revenue target.
They urged that government should work on war footing basis to create conducive environment for business sector in order to accelerate the economic growth of Pakistan as country’s better future was linked with a better growing economy.
The ICCI office bearers further stressed that government should reprioritize public sector development programme, reduce its own expenditures to create fiscal space for providing subsidies to poor and vulnerable people so that they could get badly needed relief.