Tough decisions ahead for economic stability: Dastgir

KARACHI: Federal Minister for Commerce Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan said on Wednesday that present government under the leadership of Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif has a clear agenda of making Pakistan to stand on its own feet again and for completion of this mission hard decisions such as privatization of State-run entities and giving MFN status to India need to take.

He was addressing to a large number of traders and industrialists at Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) during his visit to KCCI.

Acting President of KCCI Muhammad Idress, Secretary Pakistan Trade Development Authority Ms Rabia Jaweri, formers Presidents of KCCI Zubair Moti Wala, Haroon Farooqui and Anjam Nisar were also present.

The minister said that government was facing two big crises, extremism and energy crisis and it deliberates over them on daily basis to how to address these issues. “Actually both of the crises are part of a basic crisis which is lack of delivery capacity of the state,” he said and added that government was working day and night for increasing this capacity.

He said: “Presently we are taking decision on apprehensions and concerns basis but we will have to change this attitude and take decision on the basis of verve and vitality for taking the country into 21 century.” He said that there was no gain and growth without taking rick so there should not be any fear about giving MFN status to India. “We should give MFN status to India with a pledge that Pakistani products will occupy Indian markets,” he asserted.

Dastgir said that about a decade back there was only 5 billion dollars trade between India and China but now it had increased to 70 billion dollars despite differences between the two countries on different issues. “We cannot wait any more to liberalize our economy if want to give a better future to our next generation,” he said and added that it was not a good policy to wait for normalization of situation and then decide to liberalize the economy as we had miss the first phase of globalization and could not afford to miss the second one too.

Defending government privatization policy, he said that the apprehensions expressed in this regard were on the basis of speculations while the opportunities and possibilities of this policy were being discussed very less. “We can do a lot through Rs 500 billion being spent every year for meeting the deficit of these institutes,” he said.

He said that Europe had opened its markets for Pakistan by giving it GSP Plus status and now it was a challenge for both the government and traders to meets the conditions and utilize GSP Plus status more and more. “ There is a big demands for our agricultural products across the world but we need to meet the conditions of the world in this regard,” he said and urged the traders to came ahead for export of these products and ensured them that government would fully support them in this regard.

He said I am a minister of hurdles removal so exporters should point out the obstacles they faced and he would do his best to remove them. He said that government was giving full importance to the traders and industrials point of view while making policies as without their supports government could not fully delivered.

He said that business community was partner of the government but partnership also had some responsibilities besides privileges so it the duty of this community to support the government in his hard decision so the country could get economic stability.

Earlier, Muhammad Idress, while addressing, pointed out different issues his community faced and urged the government to take solid steps for its resolution.

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