ISLAMABAD - The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Saturday demanded of the government to maintain strength of rupee which is a prerequisite for the economic revival.

The support by the friendly countries must be appreciated who lent $1.5 billion to help government shore up its foreign exchange reserves to meet obligations and undertake large energy and infrastructure projects, it said. The assistance has contributed to a sharp and unexpected recovery of the rupee which is a great service on the part of our friends, said Zakria Usman, President FPCCI. Talking to the business community, he said that the appreciation of rupee has a great psychological and political significance but it economic importance will take some time as leading businessmen will try to predict the situation before taking critical decisions.

He said that continued stability in the exchange rate is crucial for the major investment decisions which will be based on investors’ confidence stemming out of experience. Zakria Usman said that Pakistan is highly dependent on foreign inflows majority of which are based on political considerations that remain a threat to our forex reserves and exchange rate. He said that strength of rupee depends on meaningful reforms, leading to strong fundamentals of the economy, tamed inflation, controlled fiscal and current account deficits, increased remittances, and enhanced foreign investment. The FPCCI president said that government should push exports up which is the best source of foreign exchange, provision of jobs and industrial expansion. A humbled dollar has proved the ability of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar but sustaining it will be a tough test, he observed. He called for reforming regressive tax structure, reduce borrowings and wasteful expanses, spend more on development so that economy can move with a rapid pace to make Pakistan a good place to live.