All-powerful Dar inaccessible, complains KCCI.

KARACHI -- Members of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue spoke with one voice on Wednesday about the unapproachability of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

'He doesn't even meet me,' said PML-N MNA Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, chairman of the body, when members of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) complained about their lack of access to the all-powerful minister.

In his visit to the KCCI along with other members of the parliamentary committee, Mr Sheikh said there're three centres of power in Pakistan: finance minister, chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue and governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

'Dar sahab didn't get directly elected by the people,' he said while complaining that nobody, including business bodies like the KCCI, thought much of the usefulness of parliamentary committees.

He asked businessmen to make use of the legislative body to approach the finance ministry. 'We'll conduct a joint press conference... let's see how your problems remain unresolved,' he said.

The controlled exchange rate policy, a hallmark of Mr Dar's brand of economic management, was roundly condemned by the Karachi businessmen. They said foreign trade was at a standstill because of a dollar shortage that's reflected by the widening gap in the official and actual exchange rates as well as a rapidly expanding...

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