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 Wednesday said despite the most difficult conditions, the government is making every possible effort to provide relief to the people, which is worthy of praise.
Providing free flour and cheap oil to the poor are people-friendly decisions that will provide relief to the public, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that free flour will be provided to 18 lakh households during Ramadan in Punjab which will cost 53 billion rupees and soon the scope of this program will be extended to other provinces.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has also decided to provide 21 liters of cheap petrol per month for motorcycles, rickshaws, and vehicles up to 800 cc.
Under the petrol relief package, petrol will be given to the poor sections at a price fifty rupees less than the original price and this deficit will be met by the rich, he added.
The business leader said that the prices of petroleum products have been increased a lot to get the IMF loan, but this decision of the Prime Minister will give relief of one billion and twenty crore rupees to the people.
Mian Zahid Hussain further said that there are practical complications in the implementation of this decision, while some petroleum dealers may also hinder its success, so instead of providing cheap petrol at the petrol pump, the public should be provided with cash through banks or Easy Paisa.
In the current situation, inflation has put a lot of burden on the people, so more such decisions and measures are also needed to control the prices of food items.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that we need import substitution. Despite being an agricultural country, Pakistan is importing agricultural commodities worth seventeen billion dollars.
If this huge capital is invested in corporate farming, agricultural imports will not be needed and the economy will progress.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that twenty billion dollars are being spent annually on the import of oil and gas. If this huge amount is used for the promotion of solar energy in the country, millions of homes, businesses, and factories can shift to solar energy, which will reduce the energy import bill by half in a few months, thereby saving Pakistan twenty billion dollars annually which will bring an end to trade and current account deficit.