Failed SOEs should be privatized to reduce government expenditure. Public has reduced all possible expenses, no room for further cuts. Pharma black market can thrive in country.

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(September-22-2023)

Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain said on Friday that failed State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) should be sold without delay to reduce the expenditure of the government.

It seems that instead of reducing expenditure on the part of the government, consensus is being reached on statements, while there is no concrete plan to privatize failed government institutions, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the people have reduced their expenditure as much as possible to survive, and there is no room for further reduction.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that people are being frugal in their consumption of fuel and electricity while they are forced to subsist on substandard food items, but the situation is still not under their control. He said that immediate steps should be taken to eliminate the losses of government institutions and give immediate relief to the public.

The business leader said that the political instability that has been going on for the last six years has caused a lot of damage to the people and the economy. IMF conditions and the continuous increase in the price of gas, electricity, and fuel have left people drained.

The country has not been brought to this state by the people, but failed government institutions, tax, electricity, and gas thieves are responsible for it, he added.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the condition of the people is getting worse; millions are becoming poor, and due to desperation, an unexpected reaction can come from them at any time.

He further said that stopping the smuggling of petrol and diesel from the border areas is welcome, which will stabilize the value of the rupee and will also increase the revenue of the government.

There has been a shortage of many commodities in the country, notably the raw materials of the pharma industry, leading to a shortage of life-saving drugs, he said, adding that due to the ongoing political and economic crisis in the country, everyone is being badly affected except the rich and very wealthy class.

Some people have shifted their capital abroad, and the situation in Pakistan cannot affect them. The solution to Pakistan’s problems lies in the privatization of failed government institutions, an increase in the tax base, foreign investment, import substitution, and an increase in exports.

It is no longer possible to manage situations by avoiding problems instead of solving them. For many decades, Pakistan has been using short cuts to solve all kinds of corruption, mismanagement, and incompetence through borrowing instead of governance and reforms, and this will not be possible in the future, he warned.

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