ISLAMABAD: President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday lauded the decision of the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to keep exchange rate stable despite pressure from exporters. Business community fully supports the decisions of the prime minister to boost the economy and stabilize the energy sector, he said. Mian Zahid Hussain said that erosion in the exchange rate is an outdated idea which gives some support to the exporters in the short-term but damages the economy in the long-run. The government should keep the exchange rate stable to save the masses from inflation and reduce the price of electricity and gas for the export industries, he said. He said that different governments have devalued the rupee many times – openly and silently – on the demand of exporters but it proved counterproductive.
The Indian currency has been devalued four percent since 2014 while the currency of Bangladesh has been eroded by three percent but this is not a viable option in Pakistan as all three economies have very different dynamics.
The business leader said that the last year’s current account deficit was four percent of the GDP and it may hit the mark of five percent in the ongoing fiscal which would be a record since 2008, therefore, steps are needed to boost exports.
He said that if devaluation is considered necessary by the government, it should not go for abrupt devaluation and implement it in phases.