KCCI holds political parties responsible for the economic crisis

Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) accused the apathy of all the political parties for the current pathetic economic situation in Pakistan. Chairman Businessmen Group Zubair Motiwala and President KCCI Muhammad Idrees expressed concerns as they felt that political parties are not understanding the gravity of the situation of the economy and the repercussions on the future of the country.  

Chairman BMG Zubair Motiwala warned that many businessmen are thinking of closing down their businesses, if not forever then on a temporary basis and most of them are even looking for the second option of shifting to a worthwhile place to do business. He lamented that banks were making humungous amount of money on foreign exchange transactions while State Bank of Pakistan had not been effectively regulating them due to which the difference between the interbank rate and banks’ negotiated price has crossed Pak Rupees10 a dollar and even then banks are not releasing dollars. 

“The business community faces cost uncertainty on the goods they are importing especially those which are on 90 or 120 days credit and about the fate of the goods they have already sold in the market. L/Cs for even the most essential items which are necessary to keep the wheels of industry running require former approval of SBP which has been very strict with the business community but it is quite relaxed when it comes to controlling the banks,” he added.

Chairman BMG Zubair Motiwala, Vice Chairmen BMG & Former Presidents KCCI Tahir Khaliq, Haroon Farooki, Anjum Nisar, Vice Chairman BMG & Former Senior Vice President KCCI Jawed Bilwani and General Secretary BMG & Former President AQ Khalil, stressed upon the need to have political stability in the country.

General Secretary BMG A Q Khalil stated that irrespective of the IMF’s restriction on interventions in Forex market, the political parties can bring some stability in the Pak Rupee by setting aside their political differences and minimize the political instability in the larger national interest. He urged all the political parties to show unity the way they have been showing solidarity in several issues of national security and in case of Kashmir cause.

President KCCI Muhammad Idrees stated that the utility prices are being enhanced unprecedently where rupee dollar parity has added fuel to fire. “And no one knows how low the rupee would drop while agreement with IMF has added even more uncertainty. Purchasing power of the common man has eroded due to high inflation while many business units complained that local markets are not buying from the production units as the buying power of the masses has eroded and people are concerned over the heightened uncertainty,” he added.

They appealed to all political parties to sit down across and make an understanding as to how the economy should function and stabilize the Rupee to its real value. This kind of freefall of the local currency is making international buyers confused as to what is the right time to buy for profit. Due to this reason, the orders of autumn and winter, which are usually the sold before or in July are still pending making it difficult for the units to continue their production prior to September. KCCI even offered to sit down with the political parties to at least create a framework so that minimum working conditions are achieved for the businesses to operate smoothly.

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