Livelihood becoming more difficult with dollar rise: PBF Chief

KARACHI:Pakistan Businesses Forum Wednesday proposed to place a temporary ban on import of all luxury items till the substantial recovery in rupee.

“We have to curtail the import bill, come what may,” said PBF Vice President, Ahmad Jawad, while talking to media. He said business community had no idea as to what was the real exchange rate needed by the State Bank of Pakistan and which was the end point for depreciation of rupee.

He said that though the exporters would get some benefit against their export proceeds, but the overall economy would face a tough time as the cost had been rising and finally it would affect consumption, which was the main wheel to run the economy.

Jawad said: “With the rupee crossing Rs 170 against the dollar in interbank, the livelihood of the poor and middle class is becoming more difficult.” Even the agriculture of this country is suffering. Due to free float policy by the Governor SBP, now fertilizer prices are going on high side. Farmers have been compelled to purchase DAP at Rs 7,000 per bag, and nitrophos at Rs 4,000 per bag.”

“We are spending almost three dollars in imports for every dollar earned from exports and we cannot afford to keep imports this high, he said and added: “We already paid a heavy price against the IMF package and business community cannot afford further with the ongoing pace.”

At a time when the foreign currency reserves had crossed $27 billion, it clearly indicates the State Bank of Pakistan was using exchange rate depreciation as a tool to make imports expansive but so far this mechanism had failed to stop rising trends in imports,” he added.

In this regard, we appealed to the Prime Minister Imran Khan to take immediate action realizing the gravity of the situation as the appreciation of the dollar has led to fears that the rupee will depreciate further which is not only for national security but also for the economy, he said.