FPCCI’s presidential candidate, Atif Ikram Sheikh, welcomed the steady decline in the US dollar on Sunday, terming it highly satisfactory for the masses and the business community. This daily decline has become a routine, improving foreign exchange reserves and the confidence of investors, he said.
He said that despite the higher supply of dollars, the pressure on the exchange rate is still there as demand from importers is increasing each day, which must be controlled and monitored while energy prices should be reduced.
Atif Ikram Sheikh, who has also served as VP FPCCI, Chairman PVMA, and President ICCI, said in a statement issued here today that administrative measures are not enough in the long run; therefore, exports, remittances, and revenue should be increased, and expenses should be controlled.
He recalled that the serious foreign exchange crisis had greatly damaged the economy, but now it seems to be ending. Domestic and foreign investors remained worried for years, and their goods at the port were not being cleared due to a lack of foreign exchange.
He added that due to this crisis, hundreds of containers piled up at ports while importers faced demurrage and detention charges.
The business leader said that our total annual income is sixty billion dollars while imports are almost 80 billion, making it impossible to run the country without borrowing.
He noted that to achieve self-sufficiency, we have to increase income and reduce imports, for which economic policies have to be restructured for public welfare as productivity and exports are alarmingly low.
He said that the country’s problems, population, and loans are continuously increasing, and the economic system is dependent on imports, so whenever the growth rate is more than four per cent, the import bill becomes unaffordable.
To improve this situation, we must make fundamental changes in our economic model and immediately shift to solar and wind energy to reduce the import bill for petroleum products.
Instead of distributing 17 billion dollars or four thousand billion rupees to foreign farmers every year, we have to improve our country’s agriculture so that the country is self-sufficient in agriculture.
The welfare of the people must be a priority, and policies should be made so that investors are interested in productive sectors instead of non-productive sectors, which will increase production and exports and provide employment to the people.
He demanded that the manufacturing sector’s production cost be made competitive in the global market to increase exports instead of concentrating on the local market.