Tough decisions can put a devastated economy back on track. Politicians should agree on economic recovery, failed institutions are sold. Landlords earning Rs800 billion paying two billion as tax.

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(May 06, 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 tough decisions will have to be taken to get Pakistan’s crippled economy back on track.

The current broad-based government represents 70% of the country, and all political parties must agree on an economic recovery agenda, followed by the closure or sale of loss-making state-owned enterprises, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the dysfunctional energy sector deserves special attention as it is holding the national economy hostage by incurring losses of trillions of rupees.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the tax system is flawed due to which the economy has suffocated, and added that punishing taxpayers and rewarding tax evaders through amnesty schemes is wrong.

Such schemes are strongly objected to by international organizations, but such schemes are not being stopped which is giving negative signals.

Mian Zahid Hussain further said that the tax system is unbalanced. The tax burden on the industrial sector is very high while the agricultural sector, which is almost equal to the industrial sector, has been given undue benefit.

One percent of the landlords of the country occupy 22 percent of the land from which they earn at least eight hundred billion rupees per annum but they are taxed only two billion rupees which is tantamount to playing with the country’s integrity.

The income of big landowners is constantly increasing due to the sharp rise in the prices of agricultural commodities but the farmer is still in a bad shape and the agriculture sector cannot develop without making farmers prosperous.

He said that the country will have no future if the centre and all provincial governments do not take full interest in taxing agricultural income.

Arab countries have developed their agriculture by making deserts green and Pakistan can do the same but this is not being taken into consideration.

The import food bill of eight has risen to 6.4 billion which is unsustainable. The business leader said that the PTI government had reduced the public sector development program from Rs900 billion to Rs600 billion but now further cuts are necessary as subsidies on oil are burdening the exchequer which cannot bear the burden.

At present, the state of the economy is very bad and without tough and unpopular decisions it is impossible to recover the limping economy, he observed.

 

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