Govt asked to shield vulnerable from austerity decisions. Reduction in NSS profit to hit poor pensioners, widows. Elderly should not be punished for stability.

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(November 08, 2019)

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday asked the government to shield vulnerable from decisions to reduce expenses and increase revenue. Reduction in profit of National Saving Schemes will hit poor pensioners and widows who are finding it extremely difficult to live under merciless double-digit inflation.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the elderly should not be squeezed for the sake of revenue generation aimed at economic stability.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that interests of poor and vulnerable should not be overlooked while important decisions are made.

The former minister noted that there are a lot of people who have no other safe option but to invest in NSS to make both ends meet and now the reduction in profits will divert some capital to the stock exchange which is highly risky.

He said that the government is under pressure of international institutions to reduce expenses and increase revenue but it is answerable to the masses who are reeling under poverty. Those who have spent their lives working for the development of the country deserve a better deal, he said, adding that their savings should be shielded from risky ventures so that frequent scandals should be stopped.

He said that the whole pension system should be transformed with the help of technology to minimize human involvement which will make it transparent.

He noted that federal and provincial governments were supposed to spend Rs 1.6 trillion on developments during the current year but only one-tenth have been spent which indicates that it would not be utilized or funds would be diverted to other heads which will add to the miseries of masses.

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