'Lower current account deficit a victory for businessmen'

Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar says govt managed to curtail current account deficit but could not gain political advantage

Imran Rana December 18, 2019

FAISALABAD: The current account deficit of Pakistan has decreased from $6 billion to $1 billion in the past four months, which is a victory particularly for the business community as it provides jobs to millions of workers, said Punjab Governor Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar.

Addressing an event at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) on Tuesday, Sarwar pointed out that most people were ignoring the economic impact of the high current account deficit.

According to him, a ballooning current account deficit could have grave consequences for Pakistan’s economy.

He recalled that the government inherited a current account deficit of around $19-20 billion and managed to curtail it but it could not gain any political advantage from the achievement.

The governor vowed his support for the business community due to its unique importance for Pakistan’s economy. “In Britain, there are only two main government organisations; one is the District Council and the other is similar to the Federal Board of Revenue. But in Pakistan, we have 20-25 government departments, which are creating hurdles in the way of business community,” he voiced concern.

Sarwar appreciated the business community for working in the best interest of the country at a difficult time and he considered it his duty to give due priority to genuine problems of the businessmen.

The governor was of the view that only the business community and farmers could lift Pakistan’s economy. “If both these forces join hands, we can take Pakistan into an era of sustainable development,” he said.

Earlier, he pointed out, farmers harvested 15 million bales of cotton per year but now the harvest had dropped to just nine million bales.

He stressed the need for establishing business centres in every university so young entrepreneurs could get ideas for new and innovative products.

“In India, the business community has invested Rs11 billion in these business centres in one year,” he said. “On similar lines, we should also reap maximum benefit from our talented and qualified youth.”

Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2019.

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