Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said without political stability there would be no economic stability as he called on all stakeholders to come together to formulate a long-term plan – a Charter for the Economy – to revive the economy. cash-strapped country’s struggling economy.
Addressing a pre-budget business conference in Islamabad on Tuesday night, Sharif said improving exports and agricultural output, as well as financial management should be the main components of the plan.
“I call for a careful and comprehensive approach for economic recovery. That is why I call on all stakeholders to take up the challenge of time to recover the country’s economy,” he said, quoted by the official agency Associated Press Pakistan.
“No matter what happens, no matter which party comes to power, the goals set out in the Charter of the Economy will remain unchanged. This will become our sacred mission, which will not change. We need it,” he said. he declared during the conference attended by the biggest manufacturers. , agronomists and economists, who made proposals to get the country out of an unprecedented economic crisis.
He said it was important to understand that without political stability there would be no economic stability and stressed the need for an economic charter.
Sharif stressed that improving exports, agricultural output and financial management should be the main components of the plan. “The government will form an agriculture and export task force to formulate comprehensive plans,” he said.
He said Pakistan was lagging due to non-execution of development plans while other countries like India excelled.
“Rich in resources, human talents and dedication, Pakistan can also achieve excellence through efficiency and modern techniques,” he added.
The Prime Minister called for the use of modern technology in the field of agriculture and the improvement of the performance of industries and exports. He announced that he would set up a working group to work in these areas.
He stressed the need to develop rural areas, which are home to 65 percent of the country’s population, saying the movement from underdeveloped to developed areas is straining the resources of cities. “That can only happen when our children get a quality education there.”
Sharif mentioned that after the 18th Amendment, the provinces were empowered and the powers of the Federation were delegated. He said the provinces and the Center should work together to develop a comprehensive plan.
Comparing the country’s information technology (IT) industry to that of India, the prime minister said the latter generates about $200 billion, while Pakistan’s industry hovers around $2.5 billion. of dollars. “We have to go for special export processing zones,” he said.
Speaking about the tough decisions taken by the government, Prime Minister Sharif said non-performing assets should be taxed. “Windwind real estate profits should also be taxed,” he said.
With the economy in tatters and political instability looming due to protests by former Prime Minister Imran Khan, there is a growing threat that Pakistan will follow the Sri Lankan path if swift action is not taken.
Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves are under severe pressure and fell by $190 million to $10.308 billion in the week ended May 6, according to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
The country is heavily dependent on foreign loans, but they are not easy to obtain. Data from the Ministry of Economic Affairs last month showed Pakistan received just $248 million in foreign loans in April, including $100 million in oil on deferred payments from Saudi Arabia.
Pakistan is turning to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to reinstate a $6 billion package agreed in 2019. So far, half of the pledged money has been disbursed. Pakistan would immediately receive a $1 billion loan tranche from the IMF once the two sides settle their differences.
Separately, Radio Pakistan reported that at the same conference, Sharif spoke on foreign policy and said that the previous government had damaged relations with friendly countries, but the current government was taking practical steps to restore relations. strained ties.
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