Foreign reserves not depleting, spreading hopelessness drawback of Pakistan, says CE TDAP


Lahore: Chief Executive of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan Zubair Motiwala has said that there is no doubt that Pakistan is going through the most difficult situations, but these difficult situations are being shown more magnified. He was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. LCCI President Kashif Anwar and Senior Vice President ZafarMahmoodChaudhry also spoke on the occasion while former President Muhammad Ali Mian, former office-bearers and Executive Committee Members were also present. Chairman TDAP said that our exports have decreased by 8 to 9 percent, but imports of $1.2 billion have also decreased. ONLINE
Exports have decreased by 9% after increasing by 24%. He said that we have made one billion dollar euro bond payment in the last few months and have paid off about 500 million dollars in other debts.
He said that currently, 5700 containers standing at the port worth only 183 million dollars, which is being presented as such a big problem. In this regard, TDAP has held meetings with Finance Ministry, Commerce Ministry, KPT and related ministries in which it was explained to them that the total value of the containers of onions and pulses that have been stopped is 6000 dollars.
He said that due to this whole situation, everyone is talking that there is nothing left in this country and brain drain is being done which is the biggest draw-back of our economy. The foreign exchange reserves are considered a huge problem and many fears and apprehensions have been created based on it. He said that when the first government of Benazir Bhutto came, there were foreign exchange reserves of 435 million dollars.When the Musharraf government came, there were foreign exchange reserves of 582 million dollars.Currently, there are still foreign reserves of 4.5 billion dollars.
The LCCI President Kashif Anwar said that TDAP role is very encouraging. He said that our foreign exchange reserves have been reduced and our containers are also currently stuck at the port. We have repeatedly made it clear that we stand with the state. The state is our mother and we have to complain to our own mother.
He said that we have to take immediate steps before the law and order situation is created in the country.
The LCCI President said that before the government, the opposition has to sit down and sign the Charter of Economy because economic stability is a must for political stability.
He said that due to rupee devaluation, it is becoming difficult to run businesses. We want TDAP to expand the Export Development Fund.The discount percentage should also be increased.
He said that TDAP should include Lahore Chamber in its international exhibitions. Any SOPs introduced for stalls selection should be shared with Lahore Chamber.
He said that when it comes to the gold sector, it is said to bring back fifty percent gold and fifty percent dollars. Can it not be made to bring either 100% gold or 100% dollars? For this it is necessary to open a gold bank where these basic raw materials are available.
He demanded from the Chief Executive of TDP that the quota of Lahore Chamber should be allocated in international exhibitions and the selection and rejection procedure of any exporter should be shared with Lahore Chamber.
He said that if any exporter wants to participate in any international pavilion with their own funds, TDAP should recommend them. His recommendation is very important for this matter. He said that if concession is not given in Export Development Fund, space should be provided in exhibitions. He once again demanded that it is very important to grant amnesty at this time.
He said that amnesty is very important as it will bring the undeclared money into the economic circle. He said that there is a lot of money in vaults and invested in land which should be taken out through amnesty. Earlier, all the amnesties were deliberately failed. He said that amnesty should be granted across the board and unconditionally as it can bring out $10 billion into the circulation.
Chairman TDAP said that Ishaq Dar has been the Finance Minister for four times and he has been trying to maintain the value of the rupee. He said that when the USD was stopped at Rs. 228, the payment was being made on Rs. 260 by the commercial importers. When the dollar was free-floated, its value returned to its original position. He said that now the difference of Rs. 35 has been reduced to 7 or 8 rupees. As per market rules, the rupee is ultimately devalued when the dollar is free-floated.This devaluation results in a loss to the importer and a gain to the exporter.
He said that free-floating dollar decreases Hundi and other illegal means.He hoped that things will settle down in some time. He said that we have to increase our exports andImport substation industry has to work. He said that our import from China is about $ 20 billion.
Chairman TDAP said that the items, whose import is definite, should be discussed with China to set up the industry in Pakistan which makes twenty to thirty percent difference in our foreign reserve.
“I have recommended austerity measures to the government”, he said adding that the government officials have been advised to half the petrol cards given to them. Even odd numbers of vehicles in a day cannot come out in a day in Bangladesh.We have to too take such measures. The gas gysers will have to be replaced by solar. Thirty percent of Pakistan’s population lives in cities and seventy percent in rural areas. He said that the issues like bank corruption, foreign reserves belong to this thirty percent category.The remaining seventy percent of the class does not care about these things.
We do not have an export surplus because we have not worked on value addition. He said that any exporter keeps ten percent of its export revenue outside the country for trade promotion. People who come to get a stall from us pay in rupee.They should pay in dollars, pounds and euros.
He said that the SMEs will be evaluated in 30% quota.Ten percent will be reserved for gender while 10 percent will be reserved for new exporters. This will reduce our foreign exchange requirement from 100% to 30%. He said that it is difficult to pay for anything externally if you look at FATF.Due to the IMF review, money coming from other countries has also stopped. We must end gas subsidies to fertilizer industries. Subsidy on domestic gas supply must be abolished. He said that we have agreements with IPPs which will have to be renegotiated. We have to sit with the IMF again and talk so that we are not asked to take measures that will cause problems for the country in the long term.
LCCI President Kashif Anwar said that TDAP’s top priority should be import substitution through industrialization in the country. This will help offset our trade deficit, which has crossed $48 billion in 2021-22 and $17 billion in the first six months of this fiscal year.
He said that because of trade deficit, we are facing foreign exchange crisis as a result of which, banks are having trouble to open LCs and thousands of containers are stuck at port, which is adversely affecting the supply chain of the manufacturing and industrial sector.
He said that the banks are not facilitating and clearing the documents. The State Bank of Pakistan should take notice of this situation and direct commercial banks to release documents.