Trade: (Falling exports to put country on the mercy of IMF: PBIF)

March 15, 2016 Off By Web Desk

ISLAMABAD: President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, First Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday asked the government to take notice of the falling exports which will leave country on the mercy of remittances and IMF.

He said falling exports deprived common man to reap the benefits of reduced oil prices in the international market, he said. He said trade deficit touched mark of 15.1 billion dollars in the first eight months of this fiscal which was 14.49 billion a year ago which indicates the fading capacity of export sector.

Exports during the period remained 13.87 billion dollars which were 13.3 percent less than the corresponding period, he added. Luckily, imports fell by 4.95 percent in the first eight months otherwise gap would have been wider, he said, adding that such a situation will leave government dependent on remittances and IMF to keep forex reserves stable.

He said reasons behind falling exports include energy crisis, increasing cost of doing business, complicated tax and refund procedure and incompetent export managers.

He said government should promote remittances, appoint commercial and community welfare attaches on merit, boost LNG imports and construction of new terminals, expedite new energy projects, and announce trade policy.

He further said that responsibility of enhancing exports should be given to qualified and professional people instead of people who play with the future of country for the sake of vested interested in politics.

He demanded proper export strategy matching with ground realities and new professionals capable enough to tackle policy, tariff and other challenges to boost exports and ensure national development.