KARACHI: Mian Zahid Hussain, Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan and Chairman of Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), said the deadly combination of political and economic instability was destroying the economy. Successful negotiations are needed because the country will go bankrupt if the IMF loan is not received immediately, he added.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that a government in power for a few months cannot save the economy because the absence of political stability is very dangerous.
He said political stability is needed to save the country, for which the ruling coalition must have an environment conducive to tough decisions.
He said that the elimination of resource waste, the elimination of tax advantages, the sale of loss-making enterprises, reforms in the electricity sector, the reduction of non-development expenditure and the complete elimination of promotion policies of the elite are needed to save the country. He further added that controlling imports and getting loans from the IMF are very important issues that need to be resolved.
At present, Pakistan is the only oil importing country that provides subsidies of Rs45 on petrol and Rs80 on diesel, the total volume of which is equal to the defense budget which is unsustainable.
Mian Zahid Hussain said the stock market has continued to decline, the rupee has depreciated sharply while the appreciation of the dollar could significantly increase remittances and exports from Pakistanis. In the case of sales tax and customs duties, an additional tax of around Rs 300 billion will be levied and should be used to provide targeted subsidies to vulnerable people.
Mian Zahid Hussain further said that the government should consider increasing allocations to the BISP to save the poor from price shocks. He said the previous government caused irreparable damage to the economy by delaying the IMF program in 2018 and poor governance despite the country’s political stability.
The previous government was called inexperienced by the opposition and economists, we now have experienced leaders in government, but it is not allowed to function and its immediate election is demanded.
The ruling circles must understand why a government in power for a few months will tarnish its image by taking difficult decisions.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022