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 hunger is increasing in the country due to skyrocketing inflation.
It is impossible for the government to achieve the target of zero hunger by 2030 as little has been done in this direction, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that last year’s estimates suggest that sixty percent of the population cannot get enough food while 44 percent of children below the age of five are malnourished.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that water and agriculture have been neglected for decades as all the governments have remained focused on cheap popularity which has triggered serious food security issues.
He said that the government imports wheat etc. for masses and other agricultural items for the industrial sector worth seventeen billion dollars or Rs4000 billion but neglects the local agriculture sector which can turn around if such a massive amount was earmarked for agricultural development.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that almost 33 million people have been deprived of land, crops, livestock and savings and their rehabilitation will be a challenge while a lack of water can also disturb the farming communities.
The business leader noted that country’s export industry is very small and dependent on agriculture which should be given importance and their issues should be resolved.
He said that despite record destruction in the country’s history, the nation remains divided and bitterness rules the political scene.
The problems of the masses and challenges faced by the economy are not on the preference list of some misguided politicians and they are bent on creating anarchy in the country.
He said that oil prices in the international market are falling to touch the lowest ebb in the last seven months which if continued will reduce the oil import bill and current account deficit enabling the government to provide some relief to the masses.