President ABF expresses concern over 41% rise in trade deficit | Pakistan Today

President ABF expresses concern over 41% rise in trade deficit

President American Business Forum (ABF) Salim Ghauri has expressed concerns over 41% increase in trade deficit within first eight months of current fiscal and said the country’s economy would have to pay the price of huge fiscal and trade deficits.
Salim said the independent economic mangers fear that the fiscal deficit is likely to touch 8% of the GDP by the end of current fiscal against projected 4% or around by the government.
He said the worst economic situation is being translated into record low growth of Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) sector, leading to a contraction in the job opportunities. He further pointed out that Pakistan is paying heavy price of abnormal rise in oil prices in the international market, as independent studies suggest that it is the only country in the region lagging behind on economic front. Pakistan GDP’s growth is being recorded as less than that of China, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, he said.
President ABF stressed the government to complete gas pipeline project with Iran on priority besides opting for import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to meet energy demand of the country. Also, he said conversion of electricity plants on coal may be looked for to avoid excessive use of furnace oil for power generation.
He further suggested that the government should launch austerity campaign so far as oil consumption in the economy is concerned. According to him, twice a week petrol holiday could be one way of stopping public from unproductive use of oil until a substantial fall in oil prices internationally. Further, he added, the government should subsidize oil prices for small commuters including motorcycle and 800 CC car holders.
Chairman ABF said the government should also be serious on enhancing regional trade to come out financial crunch. He said the regional trade blocks around the world were supporting neighbouring economies and it is only South Asia where progress on regional trade is marred by slowness, he concluded.



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