Lahore [Pakistan], June 8 (ANI): Amidst political turmoil and a worsening economic crisis in Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, co-chairperson of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and a key ally in the ruling coalition, reiterated his plea for a "charter of the economy." Zardari emphasized the need for collective efforts to enhance the country's economic situation. according to Dawn.
Before the last year's budget and not long after its ascension to power following the ouster of former Prime Minister Imran Khan through a no-confidence vote in April, the incumbent dispensation in Islamabad, particularly Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, floated the idea of an economic charter.
The concept revolves around all stakeholders working together to provide a framework for economic growth, Dawn reported.
Pakistan has been caught up for months in an acute balance of payments crisis, with its central bank's foreign exchange reserves dipping to as low as to cover hardly a month of controlled imports.
Zardari emphasised its importance again during a speech at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where numerous economic issues were discussed.
He emphasised the importance of the country reaching "double-digit exports," claiming that Pakistan possesses all of the resources to do so without the assistance of foreign investors, Dawn reported.
"We can do it among ourselves," he added.
Meanwhile, the government, which is set to present a new budget this week, is caught between a painful fiscal adjustment reforms agenda set by the IMF, and to make room for any relief to the people ahead of a national election scheduled in early November.
"The big businessmen of Punjab should come together, choose industries and make groups. You form them and [invest] from your own pocket. We will guarantee them, we will guarantee those loans, we will guarantee your investment," Zardari said.
He further said, "An economy is not for five or 10 or 15 years. It is for our children. It is [for] the generation to come."Zardari also highlighted the importance of entering public-private partnerships, saying, "Countries, politicians, we make policies. We don't run the countries or businesses, that's for you to do."He further asserted "everything" was made by the private sector and not the public sector elsewhere in the world."Here, he recalled that he had also told the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief in Parliament in the past to "sit down and, do whatever [tyranny] you can do with us. I am used to being in the Lahore jail rather than at home ... But that's not important because individuals don't matter.""But sit down on a charter of the economy with us. Let's talk to each other. Because you are also going to one day pass away and I am also going to one day pass away ... But let's sit down and think beyond. And not for [just] five years, 10 years or 15 years."Concluding his address, he said, "We have to think collectively. Business people have to think collectively.""You all have to make this charter of the economy. If you are on this, then we are with you. If you are not on this, then we are not with you," he added addressing Imran Khan, Dawn reported. (ANI)