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Pak's top businessmen express concern over country's stagnating economy

ANI | Updated: Oct 03, 2019 18:25 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], Oct 3 (ANI): Pakistan's top business leaders have expressed serious concerns about the country's stagnating economy and the government's tepid response to the debilitating situation faced by its cash-strapped economy.
The businessmen expressed their anguish in a meeting late on Wednesday with Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who they met at a dinner reception earlier in the day, The News International reported.
Sources familiar with the meeting were quoted as saying that the businessmen's main complaints were focused on the fact that the government does not go beyond verbal assurances and that its words do not match its action.
The army chief heard the grievances expressed by 16 to 20-strong delegation and assured them of his help, adding that he will try to do something for the resolution of their problems at the earliest, the sources added.
Bajwa, in the meeting, also floated an idea that an internal committee be formed comprising military officers to work on the delegates' complaints so that they could be resolved as soon as possible, the sources claimed.
Among those who were present in the meeting included former president of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Zubair Tufail, Arif Habib, Mian Mansha, Hussain Dawood, Ali Mohammad Tabba, Ali Jameel, Javed Chinoy, Zubair Motiwala, Ijaz Gohar, Aqeel Karim Dhedi, Zubair Tufail, Siraj Qasim Teli, Saqib Shirazi and some other textile tycoons.
The businessmen criticised the activities of Pakistan's accountability bureau (NAB) and stated that the element of fear among the public sector increased manifold so no public sector employee was ready to resolve their genuine problems.
At this point of time the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is squeezing the businesses to maximise its revenues. The businessmen also complained about increasing cost of doing business was making hard for them to make their business ventures economically viable.
Pakistan's trade deficit shrank by nearly 38 per cent in the first two months of the current fiscal year, driven largely by a decline in imports of non-essential luxury items.
The constant decline in the trade deficit showed that imports have also plummeted despite a meagre growth in exports.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was elected on an anti-corruption plank and a pledge to end austerity measures, had vowed to improve the depleting economic situation of the cash-strapped country.
In fact, the opposite has happened. In reality, prices of gas and oil products and electricity in Pakistan have risen considerably, burning a hole in common man's pocket.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had last month extended a bailout package worth USD six billion to help Pakistan restore an inclusive and sustainable growth of its plunging economy. (ANI)