Traders Businessmen show concern over continuous fall in rupee value

Islamabad: The local businessmen in a meeting at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry shown great concerns over the continuous fall in value of Pak rupee against the US dollar as it poses serious threats to the economy.

Chairing the meeting, Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that the constant downslide of rupee has adversely hit all important sectors of the economy including agriculture, industry, manufacturing, IT and the commercial importers.

The average dollar value against the rupee was close to Rs 98 in December 2012 as compared with Rs 59.09 in December 2001 and now has touched all time low of more than Rs.100 against a dollar showing an impact of more than 65 percent depreciation of rupee against the dollar.

ICCI President said the constant fall in value of rupee is multiplying the cost of doing business, especially for those who have to rely on imported industrial raw material and machinery. Moreover, this situation is inflating the overall import bill of the country as Pakistan is importing bulk of oil and many other items to meet its needs.

Businessmen said Pakistan is quite rich in mineral resources and holds strong potential for small businesses; however the rupee depreciation is stagnating growth of these sectors and government should give a serious thought to harness the untapped mineral resources to improve exports.

They said encouraging local industry for improving exports and luring foreign investment through good incentives are the effective tools for the government to curb the downslide of Pak rupee.

Zafar Bakhtawari said our economy is still in a slow growth mode and warned that further fall in value of rupee will cause more contraction in business and economic activities leading to reduced tax revenue and huge foreign debt as debt servicing liabilities has already gone up manifold.

He said this phenomenon will discourage importers and exporters from expanding business scopes and increasing investments in their ventures and called upon the government to get quickly into action and come up with a thorough roadmap for arresting this dangerous trend to bring stabilization in exchange rate and to protect the economy from further damages.