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 Wednesday that Pakistan has become a permanent customer of international financial institutions.
No one tolerates a customer who is unable to repay the loan for a long time, so being economically self-sufficient has become the only means of saving the country, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that some people are still not serious about reforms because their political interests are at stake.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the economy has been in the ICU for many years, and now the foreign doctors trying to treat it are getting frustrated.
He said that Pakistan is currently facing serious problems of inflation, deficits, reductions in industrial and agricultural production, falling exports, and reduced remittances, hitting the balance of payments.
The business leader said that public debt has reached 74.3% of GDP in FY 2023 and continues to grow rapidly. Debt and interest payments have become such a big problem that the government is unable to provide relief to the people even if it wants to, nor is it able to develop the economy so that the people can get employment.
Mian Zahid Hussain further said that now the international organizations and friendly countries are giving repeated warnings about the economy of Pakistan; they are pointing out the basic weaknesses in the economy and demanding their resolution.
No matter how much money is borrowed, it will never fix the economic problems, as improvement requires internal reforms that have been neglected for decades, he observed.
He said that efforts are being made to improve the situation rapidly, which is encouraging. The decision to send Afghans living illegally in Pakistan back to their country is correct.
Moreover, he said, any further postponement of important reforms will lead to a faster-than-expected deterioration that will be beyond anyone’s control.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the government should reduce its expenses and start saving the country’s economy from leeches through the immediate sale of failed government institutions because they are a big problem for the country.