(June 17, 2022)
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 Friday said the steps taken for reforming the economy are insufficient.
The recent measures have increased the burden on the people to an unbearable level and they have not been able to bear any more burden, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that instead of imposing more burden on the people, the elite should be targeted, tax should be imposed on agricultural income and failed companies sucking six hundred billion rupees from the national treasury should be sold.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that power and gas line losses should be controlled which are over Rs700 billion while taxes on industrial sector should be reduced which will speed up the industrialization process, develop the economy, provide employment to the people and generate billions of rupees in revenue for the government which can be used to provide relief to the people.
He said that the priorities of the governments have been wrong for decades due to which now the government has to spend 71 percent of its revenue on interest payments while global market conditions, local political tensions and reckless use of resources has eroded confidence in the rupee which has led to a steady decline in its value, leading to further inflation and unrest.
The business leader noted that the government’s response to the rapidly changing situation and challenges has been insufficient, which has exacerbated the economic woes.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the government should increase its revenue and reduce expenses to provide relief to the people as this is the only option.
The process of giving annual relief of about three thousand billion rupees to the elites should be stopped while one third of that should be given to the poor.
At present, the government is spending Rs200 on current expenditure against earning Rs100 in revenue and it is importing different items worth 220 dollars against exports of 100 dollars due to which the debt has increased to Rs4 trillion which is enough to bankrupt the country.
In many developed countries, the number of cars owned by the government is less than 100 and no officer is given a car for personal use but the number of such cars in Pakistan is close to one and a half lakh.
In Pakistan, a grade 17 district, tax or police officer use vehicles which are not even given to federal ministers in India.
Mian Zahid Hussain further said that the situation is deteriorating but some politicians are worried about their future instead of the national economy and they are constantly sacrificing national interests for the sake of power.
Some politicians are stoking instability which is tantamount to laying mines in the foundations of the collapsing economy.