APBF emphasizes need for transparency to instill confidence in investors

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APBF emphasizes need for transparency to instill confidence in investors

DNA

ISLAMABAD, JUN 2: Emphasizing the need for transparency for instilling confidence in the business community and investors to attract investment the All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) has asked the government that its strategies should not only focus on short-term but also cover a long-term vision for speedy economic growth.

APBF President Syed Maaz Mahmood emphasized that such transparency from the government is crucial, as the country has had trouble raising enough money to cover its expenses. He said that the domestic investment at the moment is alarmingly low which has sent a negative signal to the potential foreign investors and now is the time that the federal government should give some patient hearing to the private sector calling. He said if the government was seriously desirous of having economic turnaround in the coming years it would have to do two things that are: an immediate freeze on domestic and foreign borrowing and secondly put in place a well-tailored strategy to show-case Pakistan’s potentials to the outer world.

APBF Chairman Ibrahim Qureshi said that even though Pakistan’s economic crisis is a recurring factor in the country’s political unrest, it has a history of ignoring the nation’s true issues, which include poor governance, a broken judicial system, outdated laws, complicated tax system, lack of transparency, duplication in the government system, ineffective bureaucracy, improper use of our human, natural and water resources, lack of efficient local government, inadequate data for country’s planning, and the consistent flaws in policies in execution by the government departments.

Ibrahim Qureshi said that Pakistan’s GDP growth rate has always remained below its potential despite efforts to boost economic growth. He said that the development of important sectors and investment prospects was hampered by inadequate revenue collection, structural problems, and governance issues.

Syed Maaz Mahmood said that due to the low tax-to-GDP ratio, borrowing and outside help are heavily relied upon to close the fiscal imbalance. There is a recurring budget deficit because the government spends more than it takes in. The national debt burden has risen, as a result, needing substantial financial resources for debt repayment. Both internal and external debt in Pakistan has been constantly rising.

He called upon the government to announce clear and robust economic strategies, as the country has stuck in low economic growth situation, where double-digit policy rate for the last few years has diminished capacity to increase domestic production, and exports, negatively impacting domestic resource mobilization.

The APBF President said that the government will have its work sharply cut out as far as the economic challenges are concerned. Coming at the back of fast-unfolding climate change crisis that pushed millions into poverty with little fiscal capacity of government to provide anywhere near close to what was needed in stimulus spending. Then there is acute debt distress, and seriously high inflation at the back of global aggregate supply shock, and accentuated by a world of rising conflicts, mainly in Ukraine, and the Middle East.

Since it has been causing serious governance and economic issues for years, the cost of goods, food, petrol, and other necessities has increased, and inflation has almost reached 45 per cent, which is not bearable for the common man. On the other hand, there has been an increase in dissatisfaction among the public that no state institution is performing well and to save them from the haughtiness and bad administration pervasive in the system.