KARACHI: Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, Mian Zahid Hussain said on Thursday that the countrys economy is on its way to stability. But there is a need to properly manage the repayment of debts so that the trust of foreign institutions as well as investors can be improved and confidence of local investors can increase, he said. Mian Zahid Hussain said that the financial, external and industrial sectors are improving, the deficit is reducing, the foreign exchange reserves are satisfactory, and the currency is stabilizing. Still, there is a need to increase exports and remittances. He said that exports should be increased; otherwise, the fiscal deficit will remain in place. He added that governance and social welfare sectors are improving, and the investment climate is getting better due to the Special Investment Facility Council. Still, reforms and privatization need to be accelerated. He said that the involvement of the military in the SIFC has helped ensure policy continuity and stability and boosted investor confidence while seeking to increase cooperation with the Gulf States, China, the European Union and the United States. Mian Zahid Hussain said that at present, the stock market situation is also satisfactory, and the large-scale manufacturing sector is also coming out of difficulties. The agricultural industry is also improving; revenue is increasing, and unnecessary expenditure is being reduced. He noted that unnecessary imports add to the deficit and devalue the currency; hence, they are not encouraged, which may lead to a fall in prices in the coming days. The appreciation of the rupee has improved the fiscal position, reducing the debt burden and creating fiscal space for development expenditure. Mian Zahid Hussain further said that despite all these positive indicators, some international institutions are expressing their concern about Pakistans debt repayment cap. Similarly, some institutions are showing concern about the political situation, which may lead to new economic challenges. Mian Zahid Hussain further said that the IMF and other international organizations are satisfied with the actions of the current government, and in case of another agreement with the IMF, not only the domestic problems will be reduced, but also the global ranking of Pakistan will improve. It will be possible to get cheap loans. Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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