A leading business group beefed up its campaign of support for Turkey's anti-inflation program, fearing that the foreign trade deficit and energy shortage will push the government to deviate from the IMF-sponsored policies.
The Turkish Exporters Union (TIM) is intensifying the anti-inflation campaign, saying abandoning the program would cost Turkey dearly in the long run, Okan Oguz, the chairman of the influential group told the semi-official Anatolian news agency.
TIM and the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) spearhead the campaign "Turkey is beating inflation."
Turkey must beat inflation, it cannot afford the luxury of giving up or watering down the program," Oguz said.
The nine-month results of the government's disinflation program show inflation will be in the 30-35 percent range at the end of the year, instead of the targeted 25 percent, which Oguz said should still be considered a success.
No one should be disappointed at the nine-month figures, because the program will go on for three years. We have two years and three months to go through, without tiring and keeping up the fight," Oguz said.
The government's program aims to reduce inflation to single-figures by the end of 2002, from around 50 percent now.
Oguz warned of a lack of dialogue and occasional accusations between economic circles and the government: "Employers, workers and the government should lay out their demands and expectations at the Economic and Social Council which brings together representatives from all nongovernmental organizations."
The TIM chairman also urged consumers to make note of and report occasions of excessive price increases in the market.
The private sector should behave in line with program targets, seek to improve productivity and avoid excessive price hikes. The majority of the sector is paying heed and we hope to eliminate the exceptions through consumer support," Oguz said. He added that help from women's organizations would be sought in this phase of the campaign. – (Albawaba-MEBG)
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