Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain said on Monday that the success of the IMF review is very important for the Pakistani economy, therefore it should be given top priority. Exchange rate unpredictability at this critical juncture is troubling, because of which the importers and exporters are also worried while the profiteers are getting an opportunity, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that immediate action should be taken against those who smuggle dollars so that playing with the value of USD should be stopped.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the current government has met the expectations of the IMF, so there is a strong hope of getting seven hundred and ten million dollars from the IMF in December.
The IMF tranche would be subject to some strict conditions, which will be a burden for the people already facing inflation and other problems, he added.
The business leader said that the tax and non-tax revenue targets have been achieved. FBR was given a target of collecting Rs 1.98 trillion in the first quarter of the new financial year, against which it has collected a tax of Rs 2.04 trillion, while the volume of withheld refunds has also been reduced from Rs 247 billion to Rs 198.5 billion.
Mian Zahid Hussain further said that the fiscal deficit for July to September stood at 0.9 percent, down 0.1 percent from last year, while the primary surplus stood at Rs 417 billion, higher than IMF demand.
The reasons for the primary surplus include the surplus of two provinces and the sharp increase in the petroleum levy. Apart from this, various types of subsidies and development expenses have also been reduced, which has improved the financial condition of the government.
He observed that due to the unprecedented increase in the price of electricity, the circular debt has also remained within the limits demanded by the IMF and has also started to decrease.
Moreover, salaries have not increased compared to inflation; therefore, the financial affairs of the government are improving, but inflation is also expected to increase.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the army has played a major role in improving the economic situation by discouraging smuggling, hoarding, and speculation and improving the situation wherever possible.
The situation will improve if the crackdown on all types of illegal businesses is continued and no concessions are made to those who destroy the country’s economy.