ISLAMABAD: Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry has expressed great concerns over the consistent falling value of rupee that has tumbled to over 26 percent within a year against dollar and called upon the government to take solid measures to bring some stability in the local currency as continued falling value of rupee would further enhance the cost of doing business and adversely affect business, industry, exports and the overall economy.
Ahmed Hassan Moughal said that the value of Pak rupee was around Rs.105 against a dollar in October 2017 which has now come down to around Rs.133 against a dollar which was quite perplexing for the business community. It was badly disturbing business plans of private sector for expansion and growth.
He said that the local industry was using most of the imported raw materials for manufacturing activities, but the falling value of rupee was causing manifold increase in the input cost making local products highly uncompetitive in the international market. He said that the depreciation of rupee would prove extremely disastrous for the common man as it would unleash a new wave of inflation in the country. He said the depreciation of rupee would make electricity very costly for industry as Pakistan was generating most of the energy through thermal fuel leading to enhanced manufacturing cost.
Ahmed Hassan Moughal said that the devaluation of rupee was also causing manifold increase in foreign debt of the country as fall of one rupee against dollar translated into hike of Rs.60 billion in foreign debt. He said the falling value of rupee would also upset the business plans and future projections of the private sector as businessmen needed a stable currency for sustainable business planning. He stressed upon the government to make a comprehensive strategy to arrest the fall of local currency in order to save the economy from further troubles.
Rafat Farid Senior Vice President and Iftikhar Anwar Sethi Vice President ICCI said that under the present situation, industry has only two options i.e. either to close down production units or increase price of its products and become more uncompetitive in the world market. They said that the country’s trade deficit has already swelled to over $37 billion and the only way to bring down the deficits was to boost exports for which the cost of manufacturing should be reduced or at least brought at par with regional countries.