(July 01, 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 COAS Gen General Qamar Javed Bajwa has rightly pointed out issues keeping economy hostage which is laudable. Speaking at a seminar at National Defence University, the COAS linked revival of the economy to sovereignty which indicates his interest in the improvement of the overall economy which is praiseworthy, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the remarks of COAS indicate that the government and army are on the same page and striving to revive the limping economy.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the decision of the army to freeze budget was a move to share the government’s burden but it can have an impact on the challenging security environment.
The former minister noted that Gen. Bajwa has blamed former rulers for fiscal mismanagement and avoiding tough decisions and hoped that the decision of the incumbent government will improve the economic situation. However, he said that it’s not only the government and the army but all sections of the society must come forward to discharge the national obligation of rescuing the sinking economy as many nations have done it in the past. He noted that political stability and national unity are the prerequisites for development for which the Prime Minister is in contact with the masses.
Mian Zahid Hussain noted that foreign loans have surpassed $ 100 dollars, revenue shortfall has jumped to Rs 400 billion, GDP is down from 6.2 percent to 2.7 percent, the discount rate is over 12 percent, and devaluation has not helped boost exports.
Government spending, the value of dollar, inflation, and unemployment is increasing, people are still in doubt about amnesty scheme, the energy prices have been revised upward for the eleventh time in ten months while industrialists and traders have started agitation. The government must take the right decisions to avoid an interruption in economic activities, he demanded.