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Industrial operations during 2nd corona wave to help stabilize economy: UBG


LAHORE, Nov 30 : United Business Group (UBG), the largest alliance of chambers and trade associations in the country, said on Monday that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s prudent decision of allowing industrial operations during the second wave of coronavirus pandemic will definitely have a salutary impact on the national economy.
Talking to a traders delegation here, the UBG Chairman Iftikhar Ali Malik, Presidential candidate in the upcoming election of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Khalid Tawab and candidate for the FPCCI Vice President Almas Hyder said that timely and judicious decisions of the PTI government under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan are giving impetus to industrial productivity and trade activities across the country, thus ensuring economic stability.

Iftikhar Ali Malik said that Covid-19 has crippled even the advanced economies of the world, countries including Pakistan are trying to maneuver through the coronavirus; monetary and fiscal policies are extensively being used to deal with negative economic impact due to the pandemic.

Malik said the PTI government this time again during second wave of corona pandemic has made its best and the economy is now recovering gradually because of appropriate policy recourse to address the macroeconomic imbalances. The stabilization efforts paid off with a sustained adjustment in current account deficit and continued fiscal prudence, he added.

He cited that historic incentive package by the Prime Minister during his visit to Faisalabad has resulted in record industrial production of the textile sector. “Since business community is the backbone of the economy and we understand, Prime Minister Imran Khan is working day and night to facilitate the businesses and industry to optimum level, and we support his vision of much-needed revitalization of the economy and industry,” he assured.
Khalid Tawab said that another epoch making decision of Imran Khan about special relief in power tariff to all industrial units throughout the country has also enabled the local industry to be competitive and not only regain its due share but also expand its sales in the global markets.

He said that COVID-19, in a way, further highlighted the fundamental weaknesses of Pakistan’s economy such as low tax to GDP ratio, reduced savings rate and minimal export growth with negligible value addition etc. while the industrial sector regressed. However, the present government responded promptly to such issues by reforming policy measures; introducing smart lockdowns instead of bringing all the economic activities to a standstill.
While, candidate for FPCCI VP Almas Hyder said that though the PTI government was committed to increase the exports and improve trade activities in the country, stakeholders of many sectors of economy are being ignored by the policy makers.

Almas Hyder, who is also former President of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), urged the Prime Minister to direct the authorities concerned to ensure representation of all the stakeholders while framing future economic policies and trade related decisions so as to make them practically viable. It will definitely help strengthen the national economy on sound footings, he observed.

He said the FPCCI was the highest apolitical forum of the business community in the country, assuring that if the UBG panel voted to power, it would continue to safeguard interests of the trade and industry at all levels.
He said after coming to power UBG leadership has already assured its voters, a special cell would be established to monitor the industry’s losses in the ongoing COVID-19 so that another additional package could be obtained from the Prime Minister to help sustain and stabilize the industry on top priority.

Iftikhar Ali Malik, Khalid Tawab and Almas Hyder said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s strategy in the first phase of Covid-19 was lauded world over. The trade leaders also appealed to the businessmen and industrialists to strictly adhere to SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) issued by the government time to time with the resurgence of the deadly virus so that they could save themselves and others from this pandemic. Otherwise, they added, the government would have no other options but to take strict and harsh measures to contain the virus which may affect business activities.

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