Dr. Mirza Ikhtiar Baig (Economist): There are some reasons for appreciation of rupee. First is decline in imports of luxury items including cars, mobile phones and food stuff due to which burden on foreign exchange has reduced. In addition, IMF has expressed satisfaction over the measures taken by Pakistan. The friendly countries including China, Saudi Arabia and UAE have also assured to provide economic cushion to Pakistan. Besides, they have expressed willingness to provide oil and gas at deferred rates. As a result, the yield of foreign bonds floated by Pakistan has also improved due to this positive sentiment. With the revival of IMF program, funding from multilateral sources will increase. Things have bounced back as far as economy is concerned and in the coming days we will see more improvements in rupee appreciation and stock market. A strong rupee will help reduce inflation in the country, improving living standard of the people.
Dr. Noor Fatima (Economist): The economy of Pakistan could have led to a Sri Lanka like situation, had the current incumbent not taken such prudent steps. But the situation has improved to a great extent. The strengthening of rupee against dollar in recent days is a good development. We have to look for alternate sources to support our economy. The substitute and alternate industries should be established to accelerate economic activity. Pakistan is in dire need of LNG to fulfill the needs of people and industry. Pakistan has already been looking to sign a LNG purchase agreement with various countries as it seeks to secure supply of this commodity. Pakistan has signed two long-term agreements with Qatar for the import of LNG.
Salman Ghani (Senior Analyst): The biggest challenge faced by the current government was and still is the economic crisis. Pakistan is working in various sectors to develop its economy. The government has taken very tough and unpopular decisions to revive the ailing economy. It is now the responsibility of all stakeholders to work for the country by setting aside their differences. For this purpose, the business class and rich segments of society should play a leading role by paying their due taxes to support the economy. The political forces, including opposition parties, should develop a long term consensus on economy and a joint policy must be developed in this regard. There is a great need of holding dialogue to strengthen the economy and finding sustainable solutions for it.