The country plunged into floods, the political and economic crisis in 2022: Mian Zahid Hussain.

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Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said the year 2022 proved to be the worst for the people, economy, and businesses. The country plunged into floods, political, economic, and financial crises, terrorism resurfaced, and the people faced unprecedented problems due to inflation and other issues.  

The recession and crisis have hit small and large sectors that drive the economy indefinitely, and the country’s default is being propagated due to political interests.

While interacting with the business community, Mian Zahid Hussain said that last year was difficult for many sectors, including agriculture, textiles, import-dependent industries, and the auto industry, which affected the economy and caused widespread unemployment.

The Pakistani currency fell by almost 50% against the US dollar, interest rates rose to 16%, inflation remained at 31%, and food prices skyrocketed. At the same time, the political turmoil continued in full swing, he added.

It seems that even in 2023, the problems may not be reduced. Despite the alarming situation of Pakistan’s economy, relations with the IMF were strained by breaking promises.

The business leader noted that tensions with IMF which turned away the private creditors and friendly countries, while abandoning the free-floating exchange rate policy, reduced exports and remittances.

Presently, Pakistan needs billions of dollars in loans to save the country, strengthen the economy and restore economic activities. Still, the lenders cannot manage it as loans from other sources can only be materialised when IMF has a positive view of Pakistan.

Mian Zahid Hussain further said that the government is repaying foreign loans. Still, this process cannot be continued for long because no lasting solution is possible without reforms, privatisation, and removing weaknesses in the agriculture, industry, and energy sectors.

Pakistan owes 30 percent of its loans to Chin, and 20% of loans are from Saudi Arabia. At the same time, the IMF can relax its position if America wants, so instead of angering important countries as the previous government did, he said that relations with all important countries should be urgently improved.

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