SALMAN ABDUHU

LAHORE

Strengthening of rupee is not of short-term as all indicators are positive and favours to boost economy.

This was stated by the AKD Group of Companies Chairman Aqeel Karim Dhedhi while talking to The Nation. He observed that almost all economic indicators— like GDP, inflation, exchange rate stability, interest rate, fiscal deficit, revenues, imports & exports, remittances, foreign inflows, and reserves etc - shows a new positive beginning for the country’s economy, showing that rupee present value against dollar is permanent. Mr. Dhedhi said the confidence of the investors has been revived and it is bringing about a remarkable turn-around to the economy which may further strengthen value of local currency. But any further decline in dollar against rupee will be disastrous for the exporters and government should also take care of the exporters in this regard, he warned.

Regarding growth in stock market, he informed that the KSE index has risen from 19,916 to 27,309 index in May, 2013; showing an increase of almost 40 percent and its several stocks value may double in a couple of years. In the same way budget deficit has decreased from 4% at Rs1,053 billion to 3 % at Rs1,015 billion during the first eight months of 2013-14, he added. The AKD group chairman said that Pakistani Rupee has improved its value against dollar; pushing down dollar below Rs100 in the interbank and open market (kerb). Foreign exchange reserves have improved to $9.52 billion in March 11, 2014. “I am confident that Pakistan’s economy is now on a sustainable high growth path. AKD Group remains committed to supporting government policies and assisting our clients to partake of the unfolding investment opportunities in a broad spectrum of economic sectors in the country.”  Aqeel Karim Dhedhi said that incorporation of new companies has increased by 15 percent in the first eight months of 2013-14 as compared with same period last year.

Federal Board of Revenue’s revenue collection has risen to Rs1,348 billion during July to February 2013-14 as compared to Rs1,145 billion; an increase of 17.7 percent. Remittances during the same period have increased to $10.24 billion compared to $ 9.23 last year; showing an increase of 11.2 percent. The exports have increased by 6.2 % during July-February of fiscal year 2013-14 as compared with same period of 2012-13, he said. Overall, the quarterly GDP growth in 1st quarter 2013-14 has been 5%, including growth in LSM of 6.8% in that quarter.

Significantly, LSM grew by 13.2% in the month of December 2013; a rate unprecedented in the last seven years. Mr. Dhedhi said that government’s policies have got international recognition. The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry which conducts regular surveys on business confidence has raised its index for Pakistan from -34 to +2.

In the same way, the Perception and Investment Survey 2013 (conducted during September-November 2013) and released by in January, 2014 foreign investors intend to inject around $3 billion investment in the Pakistani economy in the next five years due to the fact that foreign investors have done well in terms of their bottom lines.

Regarding CSR activities, he said that AKD Group endeavors to contribute generously towards philanthropic activities, especially in the fields of modern education and health, and encourage all members of our business organizations to do likewise.