(April 11, 2022)
Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance and Former Provincial Minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said wrong economic policies have completely destroyed the country’s economy and the new government has no option but to fully focus on economic recovery.
If the control was given to the wrong people, they would damage it as we have seen in the past, which will bankrupt the country, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the central bank and other institutions should be stopped from giving surprises to the investors and continuity of policies should be ensured so that investors can breathe a sigh of relief and invest here instead of withdrawing capital from Pakistan.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the PPP during its tenure increased the public debt of Rs6000 billion to Rs16000 billion in five years meaning that an average of Rs5 billion was borrowed daily.
During its five-year tenure starting from 2013, the PML-N increased the debt from Rs16000 billion to Rs30000 billion, by borrowing Rs8 billion was daily, but during that period CPEC was launched, law and order was improved, new electricity and gas projects were launched and completed, a nationwide network of motorways and economic zones was laid, and GDP was raised from one percent to five point eight per cent.
In its tenure starting from 2018, PTI has increased the debt of Rs30000 billion to more than Rs45000 billion by borrowing Rs17 billion daily. PTI-led government not only set a record of borrowing but also wasted more resources than any previous government and poor governance pushed the country’s economy into ICU.
The former government always delayed important decisions which severely affected the rupee and led to a sharp rise in inflation while breaching of promises resulted in a suspension of IMF programs which further weakened the economy.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the mess that PTI left will have to be tackled by the new government and added that the new Prime Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif is a seasoned and experienced administrator who has the full support of Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Asif Ali Zardari, MQM and other notable political forces.
Mian Shahbaz Sharif’s understanding, experience and foresight are expected to resolve the country’s problems. It is hoped that as soon as possible he will fulfil his vision of the Charter of Economy and reduce inflation. Electricity rates will be reduced, circular debt which is a threat to the national economy will be reduced, failed government institutions will be privatized, the cost of doing business for industry and trade will be reduced, and the business community will be respected.
A strategy to increase exports should be finalized without delay and resumption of the IMF program should be ensured while trying to get some relaxations in the stringent conditions.