Islamabad: (Business Reporter) Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders (ICST) on Sunday said the government has burdened masses by hundreds of billions of rupees ahead of third mini-budget of the ongoing year.
Further erosion in the exchange rate will put an additional burden of a few hundred billion on the masses reeling under inflation, it said.
The masses have been burdened by around Rs230 billion by increasing tariff of electricity while the government is in process of slapping extra taxes of almost Rs170 billion, said Patron ICST Shahid Rasheed Butt.
He said that rupee is on the ventilator but IMF is insisting on further devaluation which will not resolve issues as the deficit continues to skyrocket.
Shahid Rasheed Butt said that forex reserves are being strengthened through loans, interest rate, inflation, and unemployment is high while infamous circular debt has crossed the mark of Rs 1300 billion.
He noted that the export sector is addicted to devaluation and packages while it has never tried to improve its competitiveness.
The business leader said that the impact of the readjusted exchange rate will be devastating for the economy and the common man and the deficit will keep our currency under pressure.
He said that the adjusted exchange rate will provide some support to the falling exports but steps should also be taken to slow down the imports otherwise the effort will remain counterproductive as the imposition of regulatory duties has not produced the desired results.
Exporters should not depend on the government but also try to improve their manufacturing, quality, branding and marketing abilities to become more competitive in the global market, he said.
He said that masses should not be penalized for the failure of leaders who were touted as highly competent economic magicians a few months back.