Businessmen want PM Shehbaz to reconcile with PTI founder, improve ties with India

Business magnate Arif Habib has urged Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to extend a gesture of reconciliation to his incarcerated political opponent, the founder of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), and improve relations with neighbouring countries, especially India.

Habib's counsel came during Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's address to the business community at a ceremony on Wednesday, where the premier expressed confidence that Pakistan's exports would double over the next five years with the support of the business community.

"Having engaged with the Pakistan Peoples Party and other parties, I urge you to engage two more times: once with our neighbours, including India, and once with the inmates of Adiala Jail," Habib advised the premier during the Q&A session.

The businessman commended PM Shehbaz for elevating the stock market to record levels and securing a bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during his previous tenure as prime minister.

In his address, PM Shehbaz Sharif reiterated his confidence in Pakistan's export potential, stressing that collaboration with the business community would be pivotal in achieving this goal.

He outlined plans for a comprehensive policy framework, developed in consultation with business leaders, to boost exports and alleviate foreign exchange reserve challenges.

Acknowledging the business community as the backbone of the economy, the prime minister invited collaboration in addressing economic hurdles and fostering development and prosperity.

He emphasised the importance of collective effort and innovative solutions to overcome challenges and revitalise Pakistan's economy.

PM Shehbaz underscored the government's commitment to revolutionise various sectors, including agriculture, mining, information technology and industry, with a focus on reducing unemployment, poverty and inflation.

Regarding the sugar situation, the prime minister mentioned the government's intention to export surplus stock and combat smuggling. He highlighted positive macroeconomic indicators under the interim and current governments, including a surplus current account, increasing remittances, declining inflation and record progress in the stock exchange.

Shehbaz also assured to conclude the privatisation process in a transparent way without any bureaucratic delay, saying the government would consult the business community before going to conclude any transaction.

He said it was not the government’s job to run the businesses as the private sector was responsible to run the business and play their due role in the country’s development and prosperity.

The premier pointed out that his government paid rebates worth of Rs65 billion immediately after taking over the office. He asked the business community to bring in modern techniques and technologies and high quality marketing in their businesses.

Shehbaz said that an amount of Rs2.7 trillion of tax money was stuck in litigation, adding that the government was trying to get the decisions of the cases as soon as possible.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt