Despite the fact that the incoming government faces a difficult road ahead in dealing with a variety of economic difficulties, the business sector is convinced that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will be able to lead the country out of the crisis by interacting with the industry.
President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Muhammad Idrees, stated that the new administration and businessmen needed to work together in order for both to survive.
Apart from domestic issues, the government will face challenges arising from the Russia-Ukraine conflict and its impact on international trade, he said, noting that Pakistan’s main buyers are European countries and the United States.
Pakistan will need to devise a strategy to keep its products competitive with their counterparts, he added.
He also believes the new government should be aware of the State Bank of Pakistan’s decision to raise the interest rate to 12.25 percent while also increasing the export refinance rate.
“The SBP has also not played its role in regulating the exchange rate, leaving the rupee-dollar parity to the market forces. The new government needs to keep a strict check to avoid such practices in the future,” the KCCI chief said.
To minimise the cost of production, the new government would need to take steps to lower the cost of doing business as well as the duty and tax structure on imported raw materials.
One of the most challenging jobs for the Shehbaz government, according to Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry President Irfan Iqbal Shaikh, was to reduce or rationalize commodity and fuel prices. T he rupee had begun to strengthen, and he thought that if the political situation remained steady, the dollar would be available for Rs170.