FPCCI’s presidential candidate, Atif Ikram Sheikh, said on Friday that Pakistan needs a charter of economy so that all political forces can focus on economic recovery. He noted that financial matters should be in capable hands to improve the economy, which will also provide relief to the masses and the business community.
Atif Ikram Sheikh, who has also served as VP FPCCI, Chairman PVMA and President ICCI, said in a statement that policy continuity should be ensured so that investors can breathe a sigh of relief and stop withdrawing capital from Pakistan to safe destinations.
Speaking to the business community, he said that important decisions should be completed on time; otherwise, they would severely affect the masses and the currency and lead to a sharp rise in inflation. Atif Ikram said that agreements with the IMF and other institutions should be honoured, as breaching promises will result in displeasure with international institutions, which the country cannot afford at this critical juncture.
We want economic managers with good financial understanding, experience, and foresight to resolve the country’s problems. He demanded that the hike in electricity and gas tariffs be reversed and the infamous circular debt, which has become a threat to the economy, be reduced.
He said that state-run corporations should be sold, the cost of doing business for industry and trade should be reduced, and the business community should be treated well.
Higher policy rates discourage businesses and increase government borrowing costs, driving higher financing needs. These financing needs are met through increased borrowing, he said.
The higher interest rate is a major contributor to our debt woes; he added that a quicker growth in the debt stock is due to its failure to contain its expenditures and boost its income by broadening the tax base.
He noted that production, exports, and remittances are decreasing, necessitating a strategy to reverse the trend.