RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) President Muhammad Nasir Mirza while lauding the move Government to reduce petroleum prices. In a statement, he said the government should ensure that the impact of the cuts must be shifted to the masses. Petrol and diesel prices have a direct impact on transportation costs. According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics(PBS), the inflation rate in March was nine percent. The government will have to take emergency measures to control inflation. Ramadan is approaching and we urged the Government to take immediate steps to control the food inflation and all relevant departments must be directed to put a check on the balance between supply and demand.
The president added that more than 800 million had flowed into Roshan digital account. This is a good government scheme. This will help the government to reduce the budget deficit. However, President Nasir Mirza has expressed grave concern over the growing trade deficit. According to the Ministry of Commerce data, the trade deficit has risen to close to around $3 billion in March this year, compared to $1.5 billion in March last year. In the first nine months of the current financial year, the trade deficit has increased to more than $21 billion, compared to about $17billion in the same period last fiscal year.
Increasing the trade deficit will upset the balance of payments, RCCI chief cautioned. The rupee will depreciate further, inflation will rise, foreign debt will rise and the overall economy will weaken further, so the government should take immediate steps to overcome the problem of trade deficit, he added.