LAHORE – Pakistan Industrial and Traders Association Front has welcomed Pakistan’s outlook upgradation to stable from negative by Moody’s, calling for improving economic indicators so that the local investors along with the world’s leading financial institutions could also give Pakistan their vote of confidence.
“Its good news for the country that Moody’s rating for Pakistan has moved from negative to stable, showing the world that the reforms brought about by Pakistan in its economy are being appreciated by the world’s leading financial institutions,” observed PIAF Chairman Mian Nauman Kabir.” He said that an unprecedented $1 billion portfolio investment had been made, as Pakistan’s exchange rate is now being viewed as stable and people foresee a good return on their investment. Counting other positive aspects, he said that Foreign Direct Investment has witnessed a 236 percent increase compared to last year and in October this investment was $650 million.
Nauman Kabir also said that it is appreciable that the country has experienced a 16 percent increase in tax revenues over the past five months and government expenditures should also be tightly controlled, he warned. He demanded that no supplementary grant should be given and neither is someone allowed any needless expenditures so that Pakistan’s primary balance could be in the surplus, he suggested. He said that the cost of doing business has increased manifold, leading to almost flat exports volumes. Mian Nauman Kabir emphasized that reduction in inputs is the long awaited demand of the value added industry to make the Pakistani exporters competitive in the international market. He said that the poor performance in exports has added burden on the national economy.
“Our industry has a potential to double its exports if it is provided a level-playing field. Unless and until the cost of doing business is not reduced desired results for increasing exports would not be achieved.”
PIAF senior vice chairman Nasir Hameed urged the government to lower down the electricity and gas tariffs in line with the regionally competitive rates. He said Bangladesh has captured our garment share in the international market for which the government should provide relief to the garment sector, he said. PIAF vice chairman Javed Iqbal appreciated the government’s commitment to disburse outstanding refunds of exporting industry and stressed the need for immediate payment of refunds to help improve the businessmen liquidity.
Breaking down the government’s road map for the economy in the coming months he said that the business community wants to see more employment opportunities, greater economic activity and an increase in the growth rate. He said the government’s aim should be raising exports so businessmen can earn more. For that the government will have to provide subsidised electricity and gas rates with the government bearing the difference. Additionally, he said the export sectors should be offered loans at an interest rate lower that the current market rate of 13.25 percent.