Corona losses beyond projections. Tax target to sink economy, industrial sector seen in red. Only construction activity cannot revive economy.


(June 15, 2020)

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, FPCCI’s Businessmen Panel Sr. Vice Chairman, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said coronavirus is beating expectations of economic losses.

The pandemic has left many jobless, pushed millions below the poverty line, revenue collection has been hit by Rs1600 billion while total losses can surpass Rs30 trillion.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the corona-linked deaths are also beyond the projections while the government has no other option but to propel the economy in the right direction.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said the government should immediately review revenue collection target which has potential to damage the limping economy.

The former minister noted power and gas prices have not been reduced which has put the future of textile, auto and many other large, medium and small industries at stake.

He said that only construction activity will not be enough to bring the economy out of the problems as the budget has disappointed the majority of the business community as the document is not in line with the ground realities.

He said that zero-rating has not been restored in these difficult times which will damage exports, reduce prospects of jobs and disappoint masses.

Taxes should be slashed while the agriculture sector should be supported to thwart the threat of food insecurity as the world is at the brink of a food crisis, he demanded.

Masses deserve relief from inflation, an artificial shortage of essentials should be tackled and employment opportunities should be generated.

He said that public sector enterprises inflicting a loss of Rs600 billion should be sold and steps should be taken to expedite work on mega-dams and CPEC.

AN out of the box approach is needed to resolve the issues damaging the economy and political temperature should be reduced, he said.