Islamabad, May 20, 2019 (PPI-OT): Ahmed Hassan Moughal President, Rafat Farid Senior Vice President and Iftikhar Anwar Sethi Vice President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry have expressed great concerns over the rising external debt and liabilities of the country that have surpassed $105 billion by the end of March 2019 and called upon the government to take urgent measures to cope with this serious issue as rising foreign debts would further weaken our economy and increase poverty and unemployment in the country. They said that for that successive governments burdened Pakistan with more debt instead of making its economy stronger while the current government was also following the same path that would bring more troubles for business sector and the common man.
Ahmed Hassan Moughal said that with prudent policies and better economic management, Turkey had got rid of IMF debts in May 2013, but it was unfortunate that Pakistan was still depending on IMF for running its economy which was not a good sign for our posterity. He said that business community and the Pakistani nation has always paid heavy price for IMF bailout packages as whenever Pakistan obtained loan from IMF, its conditions translated into increase in the prices of electricity, gas and POL products along with tight monetary policy. These measures always brought great inflation to the common man and increased cost of doing business in the country.
ICCI President said that due to heavy borrowings, debt servicing was consuming the largest chunk of our budget due to which the country could not improve the lives of its majority citizens. He said that debt servicing has already consumed $5 billion this year so far while it was estimated to cross Rs.2 trillion for the current fiscal year. He said if this amount was spent on providing better education, health and social services to the people, lives of millions of people could have been uplifted. He urged that government should utilize all possible options to rid the country of domestic and foreign debts burden because without getting rid of debts, making Pakistan a progressive and prosperous country would remain a dream while more people would fall below the poverty line, business and industrial activities would squeeze while economy would get further weakened.
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Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI)
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