ISLAMABAD   - Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders on Tuesday said country’s import policy is unreasonably liberal that is one of the reasons behind the increasing trade gap threatening the economy. The liberal import regime will never allow our manufacturing, agriculture, SMEs, exports and private investment to flourish therefore it should be reconsidered, it said. 

Dozens of the countries are allowed to dump their goods in Pakistan including those items which are not needed while the critical sectors are being ignored, said Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt. He said that the government, as well as the private sector, continue to focus on textiles and export of raw material while value-addition is overlooked resulting in the frequent balance of payment crisis. Shahid Rasheed Butt said that government often announce steps to support critical sectors which are never implemented resulting in dwindled growth. The government is trying to improve the economic situation with the help of bureaucracy which lacks skills, capacity and interest to deliver. The majority of the bureaucracy is least concerned about the economy and lack required knowledge regarding the industry, agriculture, international trade, new trends, new markets, and problems keeping the economy from growing, he added. 

The business leader said that unnecessary imports should be discouraged and TDAP should be disbanded immediately as it has become dysfunctional. The government should establish sector-specific export promotion companies with full participation of the private sector, he said. 

Butt said that power projects and roads are necessary but we also need to develop our human resource so that direction of the economy could be corrected.