Trade: (Chinese loan, amnesty scheme to provide temporary relief)

ISLAMABAD: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Thursday said Chinese loan and income through tax amnesty scheme will provide temporary relief to the government as a disaster can only be averted through a loan from IMF.

The bargaining position of the country is getting weaker which will make it difficult for negotiators to safeguard national interests in an effective way, it said.

In a statement issued here Thursday, Ghazanfar Bilour said that the IMF loan has become a necessity which will start contraction in the economy reversing the hard-earned economic gains ensured over the years.

He said that economic contraction and associated problems can be tackled with enhanced use of Thar coal which will reduce oil import bill, ensuring ample availability of water, improve exports, manufacturing, and remittances, boost investment and close or sell bleeding public sector enterprises.

Ghazanfar Bilour said that winning confidence of the business community would be a herculean task for the elected government which is the only way to ensure a real economic turnaround.

The president of the Apex chamber said that avoiding tough decisions will continue to increase the budget deficit as the present deficit and other expenses have reached to an alarming level of eight percent of the GDP which is more than the combined income including exports and remittances.

The former government preferred symbolic projects wasting billions ignoring ramifications, he said, adding that further erosion in the exchange rate will hurt our economy which is dependent on loans.