Not int’l institutions, friendly countries but our leaders liable to save economy: Atif



Former Vice President of FPCCI Atif Ikram Sheikh has said that saving the sinking economy of Pakistan is not an obligation for international institutions and friendly countries but the responsibility of our leaders.

In a statement issued on Sunday, he said that vague economic policies are resulting in nervousness among the investors which is damaging to the economy therefore Government should take a clear stance on important economic matters which should support the national interests, he said.

Atif Ikram Sheikh who has also served as Chairman PVMA said that country cannot borrow more unless the demands of lenders are met and the government will have to take unpopular decisions to tackle the economic crisis.

He said that popular decisions and lavish expenditure for decades have made the country a slave and we have no other option but to follow the dictation of lenders and now the situation has worsened to an extent that the country has to borrow for its defense needs.

He noted that external debt stood at $3.5 billion in 1970, which jumped to $33 billion in 2004, and now it is over 130 billion dollars because of irresponsible spending.

Now Pakistan cannot pay debt and liabilities without taking new loans but there is a limit to it as many governments borrowed heavily for personal welfare and popularity which has weakened the country economically and politically.

Now, our economy has lost the strength to withstand internal and external shocks while health, education, and development are being compromised, he observed.

He said that many countries borrowed to ensure development but Pakistan mostly borrowed to bridge the current account deficit but it never tried to reduce imports.

The US has lost interest in the war against terror in the region which has reduced the importance of Pakistan but our Government and masses have not learned to spend wisely.

Proper handling and reviving the economy is not the responsibility of the US or friendly countries but that of our leaders, he said.