ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Saturday lauded Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for refusing to devalue currency to spur exports and keep interests of masses supreme over everything else.

The decision indicates that interests of 200 million masses cannot be sacrificed over interests of businessmen for which government deserves all the praise, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

He said that a group of exporters led by President FPCCCI met PMinister and demanded to devalue currency by ten percent to support exports which was refused. He said that TDAP recently asked government to devalue currency by ten percent and start printing currency which was an example of blaming others for ones own faults.

Exports have gone down because of the host of reasons for which masses cannot be punished, he said, adding that deficit should be financed by increasing tax base and not printing currency which will sink country into inflation. Dr Murtaza Mughal said that government should reduce cost of doing business, revisit energy tariff, rationalise taxes, and pay of refunds.

Devaluing rupee will make imports costly which are double than the exports. It will increase size of foreign debt and interest being paid on loans, he added. Moreover, devaluation will trigger inflation, increase price of fossil fuel, edible oil machinery etc. which will hut every citizen of the country.

Steps required to ensure transparency in remittances

KARACHI: Overseas remittances play a critical role in boosting forex reserves and balance trade deficit therefore smooth flow and transparency must be ensured, a business leader said Saturday.

Check should be enhanced on remittances to discourage tax evasion and terror financing, said President PBIF and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain. Existing laws prohibit government agencies to ask about the source of remittances which help corrupt elite, bureaucrats and dishonest politicians to clean their ill-gotten money. Increasing remittances has nothing to do with the trust of people on the economic policies otherwise exports and investment would not have been dwindled to alarming level, he added.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that remittances saw an upward trend by 5.42 percent in the first two months of current fiscal while exports declined by 10.27 percent in the same period.

Last year, developing countries received 435 billion dollars as remittances in which Pakistan’s share stood at 18.4 billion dollars. Pakistan received 65 percent of the money from Middle East where some countries are busy in destabilising Pakistan.