KARACHI: Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain said on Friday that the outgoing year was extremely challenging for the public and businesses.
During this year, the nation frequently verged on bankruptcy, and people’s lives deteriorated due to the cost-of-living crisis, while many found it impossible to conduct any business at all, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the country was saved from bankruptcy due to the IMF’s loan and the deferral of debt payments by Saudi Arabia, China, and the UAE.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that people were cornered due to inflation, while political instability made it almost impossible for many to do business.
During the current year, the country has suffered the worst economic crisis in its history, while the experiences of economic managers have worsened the situation.
During this time, the rupee became like tissue paper, inflation reached a rate of 39 percent, and the purchasing power of the people was exhausted. Electricity and gas prices and bank markup rates skyrocketed, due to which many businesses closed, while production was badly affected and exports fell.
The GDP rate decreased alarmingly, and the people became disillusioned with the country’s future, due to which millions of people started moving to other countries in search of employment, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain further said that due to the measures taken by the previous governments to promote reputation, there was a record increase in circular debt, and people were forced to pay the bills by selling household items to pay bills.
During this year, many people committed suicides due to inflation and inflated power bills; the incidents of terrorism increased; dozens of military personnel were martyred, due to which relations with neighboring countries deteriorated; and the process of evicting people residing illegally in Pakistan was started, but the security situation remained precarious.
During the same year, the army took commendable steps to improve the economy, including establishing the SIFC. The announcement of the election date, the establishment of a caretaker government, legal measures against PTI, the imprisonment of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, and the return of Nawaz Sharif are among the most important political events of this year.
Mian Zahid Hussain further said that due to the role of the army in economic matters, things have improved, the possibility of heavy investment from friendly countries has increased, and the situation has started to improve at the end of this painful year.
There is a break in prices, and it is hoped that political and economic affairs will improve, he said.