ISLAMABAD - Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders on Wednesday criticised export sector for demanding more devaluation in the exchange rate to boost exports. Rupee has been devalued recently and more reduction to benefit exporters is against the national interest, it said.

Devaluation will increase the cost of imports hurting everyone as imports are around 250 percent more than the exports, said Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt. Exchange rate erosion provides little and timely relief to exporters while it increases debt, interest and make imports costly therefore it is not advisable, he added.

Shahid Rasheed Butt said that exports can be increased by reforms as demand by the export managers to devalue rupee is nothing but an attempt to hide their inefficiency.

He said that one dollar was worth Rs60 during Musharraf’s regime that depreciated to Rs 105 during PPP’s government but exports remain stagnant.

He said that recently-fired semi-literate export managers have never tried to tackle weaknesses in the manufacturing, energy, taxation, supply side etc. The export sector remains focused on low-value and commodity based products while export managers have always ignored structural flaws due to their interest in politics which has taken a toll on the economy, he observed.

Interests of the entire population cannot be sacrificed to provide temporary relief to some inefficient exporters through exchange rate adjustment as it will increase debt burden.