Protests paralyzed economy, direct losses reached up to Rs 800 billion:Khurram

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Commerce, Engr., Khurram Dastgir Khan on Monday said the current protests have paralyzed country’s economy and the direct losses to it have reached up to Rs 800 billion.

In a statement issued here, the Commerce Minister said the indirect losses to the economy, according to estimates have also amounted to several hundred billions.

The devaluation of rupee he said against dollar and the constantly fluctuating exchange rate has raised Pakistan’s external debt by Rs. 350 billion.

The uncertainty caused by Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehrik’s protests has made the investors skeptic and they have lost Rs. 450 billion in Stock Exchange, the Minister said.

The Minister was of the view that the potesters’ desire to achieve power by hook or by crook has tarnished the country’s image and the news of political instability has put the willing foreign investors in doubt.

The Minister observed that the heads of states of China and Sri Lanka have postponed their visits due to the prevailing situation and the country could not hold important economic negotiations with these economic partners.

He added that the negative politics being played in the country is misleading the youth and the country will have to strive hard to erase the harmful effects of this upheaval on the economy.

“Despite all immature political acts by certain parties to derail the democratically elected government, the pragmatic leadership of Prime Minister is committed to address grave challenges of this nation”, he remarked.

Khurrum Dastagir Khan said that the vision encompasses restructuring of the economy, initiating projects to generate energy and addressing extremism in the country.

The leadership believes in rule of law, supremacy of judiciary and fair execution of governmental policies to raise this nation among the comity of developed countries.

Recently, he said that the Planning Commission of Pakistan has launched Vision 2025, under the visionary guidance of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.

He said that it serves as a detailed road map for the economic revival to address future challenges.

It is pertinent to mention here, that social stability and development issues are directly linked to the economic sustainability in the country.

Need of the hour is to follow an approach which could address the national economic challenges with collective wisdom, he remarked.

Source: APP