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Economy will come out of crisis soon, says PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed confidence on Sunday that problems confronting the economy would be overcome soon through concerted efforts by the government and the business community.

Mr Khan was speaking to a delegation of leading businessmen who called on him to offer suggestions to pull the country out of the economic crisis.

The businessmen represented all leading chambers and different sectors of the economy.

Holds opposition responsible for hard times; business community suggests ways for job creation

The prime minister apprised the traders about the recent negotiations, and the staff-level agreement, with the International Monetary Fund.

The two sides discussed the current market situation and ways to stimulate the economy.

An insider told Dawn that some businessmen called upon the government to support the agriculture sector and small medium enterprises (SMEs) for creation of job opportunities.

Some of them said the government should make arrangements for clearance of businessmen’s dues so that they could in turn do their bit for kick-starting economic activities.

It was also suggested that the government pay attention to entire economy instead of concentrating on a handful of sectors.

The delegation appealed to the prime minister to ensure stability in electricity tariff for industrial growth.

In order to boost exports, the delegation said, an export development fund should be created to organise industrial exhibitions that attract foreign investors.

The prime minister said he intended to hold regular meetings with businessmen in order to benefit from their suggestions.

Earlier during the day, Imran Khan took part in a fund-raiser for Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre.

Speaking on the occasion, he gave another ‘hope’ to the nation that the country would soon be leading others in the region, even though he conceded “we are passing through the worst economic crisis”.

“The biggest deficit in the 70-year history of our country is staring at us, but I assure you that the country which will emerge as the leading economy in the region will be Pakistan,” the prime minister said.

“Before the 1992 World Cup, people said Pakistan cannot lift the trophy, after that they said Shaukat Khanum Hospital cannot be built, and finally they predicted PTI will not come to power,” he said. “Now I assure you this government will bring the country out of crisis.”

Referring to the meeting of opposition parties called by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Imran Khan said: “Those who gathered here today are themselves responsible for the crisis.”

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2019