SAARC CCI for chalking out economic development plans to get rid of IMF

ISLAMABAD, August 11 (INP) – SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Pakistan chapter on Friday called for chalking out a comprehensive economic development plans to boost trade activities inside the country in order to reduce the reliance on foreign debts.

While, opposing to approach International Monetary Fund (IMF) for any financial assistance, it hailed the idea of Finance Minister in waiting Asad Umar to find some out of the box solution to meet the requirements.

In a statement SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry , Senior Vice President and United Business Group (UBG) central chairman Iftikhar Ali Malik Friday said this unprecedented unfavorable state of affairs warrants the government and private sector to sit together and think how to emancipate the country from the hard conditions of IMF and how the available domestic resources could be used to get the optimum results which save the sinking economy.

He said if the coming PTI government would follow IMF Reforms Agenda, it will further deform the economy, as it includes rise in the tariff of gas and electricity, rupee to be further devalued, slapping tax on agriculture and elimination of subsidies which will result in closing down of industries, increasing ratio of unemployment and price hike since 200 textile mills are closed already in the country.

Many reform measures proposed by IMF have been undertaken and completed over the last 25 years, but these have shown little result in moving the economy to higher and sustained growth and some of the reform measures undertaken under IMF tutelage added to Pakistan’s current woes, he observed.

He urged the coming PTI government to revisit policy with the world, especially the United States and prefer trade and investment rather than banking on aid for strengthening national economy fractured in fight against terror for the more than one decade.

He said the United States is Pakistan’s largest bilateral trading partner. He said it would be in the interest of both the countries to enhance their trade volume which had been hovering around $5 billion for the last five years.

Similarly, he said the trade between China and India amounts to 60 billion dollars while that with Pakistan stands at only 6 billion dollars despite the traditionally friendly ties between both the countries. He said Pakistan needed to work towards bilateral ties with other countries.

He observed that if all Pakistanis wake up from sleep and starts to undertake serious work in commercial agriculture, their country will be able to create more wealth and also eventually make us lenders to other countries.

He said that Asad Umar has sought viable set of suggestion from the top leader of the business community including Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and United Business Group to be incorporated in framing out future monetary strategies.