Published On: Wed, Mar 25th, 2020
Published in Category: Karachi

Since 1947 it is the first test for the government to look after Pakistanis

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KARACHI: Secretary General (Federal) of the Businessmen Panel for FPCCI Ahmad Jawad said the government must act wisely in the ongoing situation under COVID-19 and immediately release 50 billion rupee package to cater the needs for the lower middle class and poor segment of society so that they can get basis necessities for their lives while lockdown.

“It’s the responsibility of the state to behave like a head of the family”. All other countries have rendered packages for their people and businesses but in Pakistan we hesitates for lock down because government don’t want to release due funds.

“Since 1947 it is the first test for the government to look after to this nation, every time the Pakistanis have disbursed the money in the shape of taxes for the government round the year, now it’s time that government returned to public in an appropriate way.”

Jawad also said the recent cut of 75 bps was unjustified and completely rejected. Leading economies have slashed their interest rates to support their businesses but here things are going on in opposite direction; SBP policy rate cut is literally “depressing”, I think the government was choosing not to see its finances and was instead “committed to economic suicide”.

“They first committed suicide by devaluation of currency and they have now committed suicide by not reducing the interest rate adequately,” he added.

Similarly oil prices in international market have come down significantly and urged that government should pass on their full benefit to the general public for reducing POL prices in the country under COVID-19. It would also bring down production cost and reduce inflation for people.

He warned further slowdown in the economic growth of Pakistan due to coronavirus and in these circumstances, government should immediately reduce interest rate to single digit level to stimulate economic activities.

Jawad said through this Corona emergency for a longer-term impact, it is a good time too for the government to organise the unorganized sectors.

“The downturn of the economy gives space to the government to improve the institutions as well as rationalise the tax rates and other numerous vital interventions which will have longer term positive impacts on the economy”, he added.