Deficit of 5000blns needs govt to curtail cabinet, foreign visits: HCCI Chief Adeel Siddiqui

Adeel Siddiqui

HYDERABAD: President of Hyderabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI) Adeel Siddiqui has said that Rs5,000 billion deficit in government departments’ budget means that government should focus on improving the working of these departments. He urged the federal government to review its energy conservation plan. He proposed government should cut the size of federal cabinet and reduce ministers’ foreign visits.   In a statement issued here Wednesday HCCI Chief said that these decisions especially the closure of wedding halls at 10pm and markets at 8.30pm would increase unemployment. He said that admittedly there was energy crisis but that doesn’t mean that businesses should be closed as this doesn’t offer a solution to the crisis.  

Mr. Adeel Siddiqui added that it was tantamount to playing with people’s livelihood. He said the government should consult traders to come up with an acceptable energy conservation plan. He said that the government’s first preference should be to curtail of government departments’ expenses. He said permission for Hajj and Umra should be issued after every five years and added that foreign visits should also be linked with the government’s business related commitments. He said that it would help save foreign exchange and ensure energy conservation. 

HCCI Chief said that exports had been reduced by 25pc in the last four years and remittances showed 10pc decline which means a burden on the economy. He said that with a decline of 7pc in Pakistani bond value in the international market investors were feeling insecure.  

Terming 2022 as the worst year from the economy’s point of view, the HCCI president said that should reform the system and ensure a balance while meeting requirements of relief and rehabilitation. He said that continuity in economic policies was essential for the country and government should review its economic policies.  

Mr. Adeel Siddiqui said that the increase in banks’ interest rates at 16pc had led to problems for the business community which was finding it hard to continue the business. He said inflation had increased manifold in the last four years and people were facing serious trouble in meeting their financial needs. 

He said that poor community and the middle class were in deep trouble. He said the dollar’s open market rate remained at Rs260 and interbank rate was Rs226 and industrialists were unable to open letter of credit because dollars were not available for importing raw material. He feared that thousands would be rendered jobless with closure of industries and government should put its foot down.  

HCCI Chief remarked that minus rating by Mody for Pakistan was increasing problems as well. He said that multinational companies were also unable to transfer profit to their home countries. In these conditions, he said, such energy conservation plan even local investors would be confronting a crisis what to talk of foreign investment.  

Mr. Adeel Siddiqui said the government should consult the friendly countries of Pakistan to take steps for improvement in the economy. He said the government should also settle its issues with International Monetary Fund (IMF) for growth in the economy. 

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