Lenders and friendly countries are pulling back. Better policies are needed to ensure foreign investment. People want real economic change.

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(October-13-2023)

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 the speed with which Pakistan is dependent on loans is increasing and the ability to bear the burden of debt is decreasing in the same proportion.

Lenders and friendly countries are backing away; therefore, Pakistan must learn to survive on its own, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that currently, our focus is on new investments from Arab countries, for which we are working diligently through SIFC’s platform.

Speaking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that if the SIFC initiative is saved from traditional laziness and incompetence, it may be possible to achieve an investment of 75 billion dollars.

If the capital from the Arab countries comes under the new model, then the same model can be used to make other failed institutions of the country viable, he added.

The business leader said that successful foreign investment can attract other countries to Pakistan, for which we should improve our policies for permanent relief instead of temporary relief.

Attention must be given to all the sectors of the economy according to their importance, which is imperative for success.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that people do not want political but real economic change, but a few thousand people who benefit from this flawed system do not want change.

They know how to take advantage of these economic conditions and political chaos, and they know that once Pakistan becomes self-reliant, their plunder will end forever.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that at present, the vast majority of the country’s population is worried and wants to improve the situation so that they have something, but they are not in a happy situation.

Until 2013, the country’s debt was equal to 63.3 percent of GDP, which reached 74.3 percent at the end of 2023, and the interest payment on loans has reached 7500 billion rupees. Immediate privatization of failed companies is the only solution to the problems as it will save one thousand billion rupees annually along with temporary revenue.

To improve the situation, the energy sector has to be improved, dependence on IPPs has to be reduced, and solar has to be increased, while the tax burden has to be reduced for the poor and shifted to the rich.

Anti-smuggling, hoarding, and anti-corruption measures have to be continued with full force on a regular basis, he demanded.

Mian Zahid Hussain further said that if the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel goes on for a long time, it will change the world situation rapidly, oil prices can jump and the priorities of the Arab countries regarding Pakistan can change.

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