ICCI calls for new strategy to curb rising debt

Staff Report
ISLAMABAD
The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) Tuesday urged the government to evolve a new strategy in consultation with all the stakeholders to curb the rising debt as a further increase in the debt would bring more problems for the general public.
ICCI President Sheikh Amir Waheed, Senior Vice President Muhammad Naveed Malik and Vice President Nisar Mirza, in a joint statement, said the debt had soared to Rs 23.7 trillion during the first eleven months of the current fiscal and stressed the need for taking measures to reduce reliance on borrowings by promoting local industrial sector and exports.
The external debt and liabilities of the country, they said, had increased to $91.8 billion by the end of March 2018 showing an increase of over 50 per cent during the last five years. From July 2013, with every passing year, the quantum of borrowings kept growing, they added.
They said the rising debt servicing obligations would put a strain on the foreign exchange reserves and affect the country’s economic growth.
They urged the government to reset priorities and focus on promoting business activities and exports, besides broadening the tax base. The measures would enhance the indigenous resources of the country and reduce its dependence on borrowings, they added.
They asked the government to address all key issues of exporters and cooperate with the private sector in identifying new markets for exports that would help improve forex reserves and enable the country to get rid of heavy borrowings.

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