KARACHI, January 01: Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Saeed Ghani expressed concern over the silence on the shocking nosedive in country’s exports to the tune of Rs500–billions over the past three years and feared that another massive financial scandal involving the ‘moneyed cartel’ of Sharif brothers could be on the way.
“If Panama scandal and offshore companies are anything to go by, it could be no surprise that Sharif’s moneyed cartel is found involved in the scandal to siphon off 20% exports for personal windfall profits,” the PPP Senator stated.
Over the past three years, export earnings have declined by nearly 20 per cent in US dollar terms, falling from $25.1 billion to $20.8 billion. Key two sectors of the economy have floundered since 2013 — agriculture and exports and both account for almost one-third of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
PPP Senator said that since his swearing in as President Asif Ali Zardari persuaded the European Union to award GSP Plus status to Pakistan and allow zero duty on Pakistani exports to European countries. EU had finally approved GSP-Plus in 2013. But the Sharif government has almost failed to fully exploit the GSP plus facility for its lacklustre policy response, indifference towards the export sector and bizarre priorities.
Senator Saeed Ghani warned that such drastic fall in exports will unleash a storm of unemployment in the country and turn millions of skilled and unskilled labour jobless.
“Loss of a staggering amount of Rs 500 billion in foreign exchange terms is major jolt to our economy and its aftershocks would be very destructive, there is a great need to promote exports and capitalize the hard-earned GSP-Plus status,” he added.