PM Shehbaz Sharif said structural and economic reforms are vital to steer the country out of crises
He said the business community would have to play a role in stabilizing the economy.
He said the government has normalized and improved ties with the USA.
LAHORE: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said drastic structural and economic reforms are need of the hour to steer the country out of economic crises, which requires the unity, sacrifices, and struggle of all stakeholders including the business community
He expressed these views in a meeting with office-bearers of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and renowned businessmen and industrialists at the Governor’s House. Punjab Governor Muhammad Baligh-ur-Rehman attended the meeting while federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar participated in the meeting through video-link
The prime minister said the government was taking all possible measures for the promotion of industry and agriculture; however, he said industrialists and the business community would have to play an active role in enhancing exports and stabilizing the economy.
He said that industrialists and the business community had vast experience in production and were playing a pivotal role in the country’s economy. He asked the business community to consider why Pakistan’s economy was unable to achieve the desired targets and its full potential
“We are living in a regime where the industry has become nothing but rental income, as we are not ready to face challenges or to adopt modern technology,” he regretted. He observed that support and subsidies from the government have not materialized properly.
PM Shehbaz Sharif said that the government was aware of the problems being faced by industrialists and businessmen, asserting that no government could alone make a difference, but with the active support of the business community.
He called upon the industrialist and business community to play their due part and support the government’s initiatives aimed at promoting Research and Development, ensuring low cost of production, and curbing power theft and tax evasion.
Sharing his telephonic conversation with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva with the business community, the prime minister said that she expressed her reservations about the mistrust created in the past.
He added that unfortunately Pakistan-US relations were hit hard by the ill-conceived decisions and remarks by the previous government. He said the present coalition government with collective efforts, had normalized and improved ties with the USA.
He mentioned that the US also welcomed and acknowledged the government’s efforts and was eager to see the development and economic well-being of Pakistan. During the previous government, he said, national interests were compromised for personal interests, and the economic situation had become even worse when the IMF pact was violated in the past.
Shehbaz Sharif commended Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and his entire team for realizing the IMF deal and tackling all its stages in a better way. He told the IMF chief that the incumbent government would complete its constitutional term on August 14, and the interim government would continue honouring the agreement.
The PM said that the incumbent government had saved the country from default, adding that now Pakistan’s reserves had reached up to US$14 billion. He said, “We have to take optimum benefit from the IMF deal by utilising the amount on economic development and people’s prosperity.”