FRIA pleads for reviving growth in manufacturing sector

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FRIA

LAHORE, JUN 29 /DNA/ – The Ferozepur Road Industrial Association (FRIA) has pleaded for formulating economic plan aimed at reviving growth in large-scale manufacturing, small and medium-sized segments, the service sector, and exports.

The FRIA senior vice chairman Shahbaz Aslam said the government should prioritize resolving the energy crisis by providing sufficient and affordable electricity and gas to industries. The import bill should be reduced by imposing bans on luxury products. He highlighted controlling inflation to ensure affordable living costs for the masses and containing the cost of production for businesses at a local level.

He stressed the need for a revisit of the economic policies, as the economic indicators throughout the 2024 remained very depressed amidst high inflation, low exports, depleting foreign reserves and continued uncertain position of the local currency.

Shahbaz Aslam said that almost all indicators of the economy continued to show poor performance during 2024, including volatile exchange rate, unprecedented hike in markup rate, repeated increases in electricity rates, gas shortage, price spiral, mismanagement and bad governance, becoming the hallmarks of the government. He observed the negative economic indicators and uncertainty over resumption of the International Monetary Fund program continued to push the rupee towards a new historic low against the US dollar especially in first half of the calendar year of 2023.

He said that massive fall of rupee value continued to damage the economy, as the rupee witnessed a huge depreciation; one of the highest devaluations of local currency in Pakistan’s history in this period. Mian Anjum urged the policy makers to concentrate on increasing tax-to-GDP ratio which was the lowest in Pakistan in the region in 2023. The FRIA leader warned if the govt failed to take appropriate measures for economic revival, the trade and industry will face a complete shutdown, asking the government to convene a conference, taking the business community onboard.

He called for solid economic plan from all the stakeholders, in view of deteriorating energy crises following the tough conditionalities of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), making this fiscal year more complicated and unstable for the economy. The FRIA leader said that the government should provide its economic stability plan to avert further losses, warning that numerous global issues are impacting world economies.

The PIAF senior leader observed that besides increasing exports and controlling imports the government will have to take administrative measures, as a large demand of cash dollars are seen in the market. He said that the monetary tightening and exchange rate depreciation resulted in higher inflation, public debt and debt servicing. The empirical evidence showed that the one percent monetary tightening hiked the inflationary pressure by 1.3 percent in the case of Pakistan, he added.