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Country heading towards balance of payments crisis : Shahid Rasheed Butt

Lahore : Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders on Sunday said business community and the masses have full faith in the abilities of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi who should immediately take charge of the finance ministry to save the country from economic instability.

The country is heading towards a serious balance of payments crisis and a number of important and urgent matters are pending a decision while the incumbent Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is not ready to come to Pakistan, it said.

The finance minister will be unable to handle matters of the finance ministry from Dubai or London, therefore, the prime minister should consider the appointment of a minister of state for finance and also establish an economic advisory council, said Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt.

He said that country needs at least four billion dollars in the short-term for which the government has decided to issue sukuk bonds and conduct roadshows around the world.

These roadshows cannot be conducted without a finance minister and the same cannot be left to bureaucracy as it will send a very negative signal which will be damaging to the country, he added.

Shahid Rasheed Butt said that the stock market is going down, falling exports and increasing imports have put renewed pressure on forex reserves while external debt has increased by 8.7 trillion rupees in the last two years which demands an immediate decision.

He said that further delay in a decision regarding the fate of finance ministry will not only damage ongoing power projects but also jack up the cost of various developmental projects which the country cannot afford.

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