Former President of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Dr Shahid Rasheed Butt, said on Thursday that the fears of default have passed, and the pressure on the economy is reducing due to an agreement with the IMF. He said painful reforms need to be accelerated so the economy can stabilise and the people can get some relief.
Shahid Rashid Butt said in a statement today that the news of the deal with the IMF has improved the confidence of the disappointed business community.
The dollar has fallen sharply, gold has also become cheaper, inflation is decreasing, and the value of Pakistani bonds has increased. At the same time, the activity in the stock exchange has started, he observed.
He said that despite all the positives, Pakistan has to repay up to $25 billion to creditors this year.
On the flip side, unemployment has increased, many industries are no longer viable, the decline in exports for June was 19 per cent compared to the last year, and people are leaving the country in greater numbers.
He said that the government should implement economic and administrative reforms, increase tax revenue without burdening the people, reduce the deficit, and gradually reduce the multi-billion dollar concessions given to the elite to save the country.
If the government delays the reforms, the situation will worsen again, as some quarters advise it to leave the painful reforms to the incoming government not to anger the voters.
Delaying reforms for political reasons will be a major blow to the credibility and economy of Pakistan, he warned.