ICCI concerned over record devaluation of rupee

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Ahmed Hassan Moughal President, RafatFarid Senior Vice President and Iftikhar Anwar Sethi Vice President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) have shown great concerns over record devaluation of rupee against dollar that has plunged to Rs.148 against a dollar in the interbank market.

They said the rupee has already witnessed hefty depreciation against dollar due to which people were badly suffering from rising inflation while cost of doing business has gone up significantly.

They were afraid that if rupee continued to fall against dollar, it would bring business activities to a standstill and put unbearable burden on the common man.

Ahmed Hassan Moughal said that over the last 12 months, rupee has shed its value by 28 percent against dollar as in May 2018 value of rupees was around Rs.115 against a dollar which has now tumbled to Rs.148.

He said business community needed a stable currency for long term business plans, but the sudden fall in the value of rupee against dollar badly disturbed all business plans of private sector and frustrated their efforts for promoting business and industrial activities.

ICCI President said that industry was importing about 60 percent of raw material for manufacturing activities while Pakistan was also importing fertilizer, food items, oil, machinery and many other items.

He said the abrupt devaluation of rupee further enhanced the cost of doing business, increased inflation and slowed down economic growth. He urged that government should immediately take remedial measures to bring stability in the local currency in order to save the economy from further troubles.

Ahmed Hassan Moughal said that shortage of dollar from market was one of the major causes of rupee devaluation. However, he lauded the initiative of Prime Minister for forming a committee headed by Advisor to PM on Finance to control rupee devaluation and capital flight from the country. He said with quick and timely decisions, economy could be saved from further damages. He urged that government should create an enabling environment for smooth growth of business activities.

He said creation of business friendly environment was the way forward for the government to create new jobs, reduce poverty, promote industrialization and bring the economy out of troubled waters.