(August 19, 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 Monday said government’s one-year performance remained a mixed bag of achievements and failures.
The government remained successful on political and diplomatic front, relations with Arab countries improved, issue of Kashmir was highlighted internationally, while Pak-US relations witnessed some improvement, he said. Mian Zahid Hussain said that the government took many unpopular decisions and tensions between the civilian government and army vanished which sent a positive signal.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the government stayed clear of any big corruption scandal reinforcing the notion that their intentions are good.
The former minister noted that the planning remained weak while it took controversial anti-corruption steps which will discourage corruption in politics and other sectors which is important for national development. Political friction has increased while the foreign policy remained a success, integration of FATA, austerity, steps for poverty reduction, shelter for homeless and tree plantation drives are laudable steps, he added.
Tourism was promoted, visa restrictions were relaxed which may result in investment while the decision to open Kartarpur border will improve relations with the Sikh community and result in foreign exchange earnings. He said that the government is trying to revamp taxation system which will help Pakistan become self-sufficient therefore traders should cooperate with the government. Exports and deficit dwindled during last one year, inflation remained out of control, the developmental budget was increased by Rs 400 billion, Pakistan Post and PTV jumped to profit, PIA is improving but bleeding enterprises could not be sold. The culture of tax evasion was discouraged resulting in one million additional filers and the financial crisis was tamed necessitating steps to provide relief to the poor, middle class and come up to the expectations of the business community, he demanded.