FPCCI proposes charter of economy to new govt

Mr Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, President of FPCCI, has welcomed and felicitated the formation of new government and its cabinet. He said that the business community was profoundly concerned over the vacuum in the federal executive structure; which has now been taken care of after the assigning of major portfolios across the federal ministries.

Mr Irfan Iqbal Sheikh proposed a non-political, inclusive, sustainable and legally-binding Charter of Economy to forge an across the board contract and unflinching commitment toward economic growth, development and equality. He said that the aforementioned charter should encompass all sectors of the economy and all segments of society. Let’s work together for a prosperous, egalitarian and industrialized Pakistan, he added.

Expressing his optimism, Mr Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that FPCCI is very much positive that the incumbent Prime Minister will bring a noticeable change in the governance, administration and delivery on the back of his proven track record of successfully implementing reforms and completing wide-ranging mega projects before time.

Mr Irfan Iqbal Sheikh added that while FPCCI acknowledges the initial gains in the rupee-dollar parity & PSX, there are many immediate and pressing issues of trade, industry and the economy in the eyes of the apex chamber of the country.

FPCCI Chief informed that credible international agencies now forecast Pakistan’s CAD in the Fiscal Year 2022 at $18.5 Billion – which is more than 5% of GDP. The new government and its Finance Minister should start an objective & inclusive consultative process with the stakeholders in the business community and take them into confidence on how & why the government will be able to manage the CAD.

Mr Irfan Iqbal Sheikh maintained that Trade Deficit has surpassed $35.4 billion in the nine months (July-March) of the current Fiscal Year 2022. FPCCI advocates tangibly incentivizing & subsidizing Industrialization, Import Substitution, IT Exports and Facilitating Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the Export-Oriented Industries for the near-term gains, he added.

FPCCI President emphasized that circular debt has reached PKR. 2.5 trillion and has put Pakistan’s energy security at a heightened risk. The government must ensure fuel & energy supplies to the industrial sector through an elaborate and well-communicated plan of action.

Mr Irfan Iqbal Sheikh noted that food inflation has crushed the masses on the back of international fuel & commodities prices and supply-side mismanagement. The government must swing into action with the assistance of the private sector to ensure food security.

Mr Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, condemning the policy rate hike, said that raising the policy rate to 12.25% can very well be proven as the last nail in the coffin of SMEs; which are already under dire strains due to the burgeoning cost of doing business; abysmal ease of doing business indicators; difficulties in access to finance; uncertainties in access to foreign exchange and regionally- uncompetitive costs of electricity & gas. He has demanded the immediate reversal of the policy rate hike.

FPCCI Chief reiterated that FBR has become a notice manufacturing factory and proposed strategic & sustainable reforms in consultation with the business community; elimination of maladministration, corruption & harassment and withdrawal of unfair notices.

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