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KARACHI: Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan and President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum Mian Zahid Hussain has said that the nation will always be a slave and its people will not get employment, the government will not get revenue and exports will never pick up if industrialization is ignored, as usual.

He said that efforts have been made for decades by vested interests to turn the country into a ‘trading state’ and a graveyard of industries. How can a country progress where every other sector of the economy is being given priority over the industry, due to which industrialists are locking down their factories and turning to stock exchanges, automobiles and property markets, he asked. Many industrialists have relocated their business to other countries where environment is conducive for the industrial sector, he informed.

The industrial sector has already been sinking under the heavy burden of taxes and if yet another ‘mini-budget’ is introduced, thousands of more factories will be closed and the life of the people will become more difficult, he warned.

He said the government is believed to be planning a new ‘mini-budget’ which will hit masses and the industrial sector hard Mian Zahid Hussain further said that real reforms are needed in tax administration and other areas of the economy instead of more mini-budgets.

The continuous increase in these direct taxes is reducing the income of the people while the tax burden on them is constantly increasing which is resulting in serious problems. Pakistan lacks a proper industrial environment; otherwise, industries shifting from China would prefer Pakistan instead of Vietnam, Mexico and other distant countries.

Wages in Pakistan are seven to ten times less than in China and acceptance for China is at the top in Pakistan but the Chinese businessmen would ignore Pakistan while relocating their industrial units, he said.

The volume of industry in Pakistan is up to 22% of GDP on which the tax burden is up to 60% while the volume of agriculture is equal to the industrial sector on which the tax burden is just 1%, he said.

Similarly, the tax burden on the stock business, property business and other sectors is very low due to which investors are not interested in industrialization and we also even have to import needles, he added. The country would have no economic future unless the industrial sector was given top priority by making fundamental changes in economic policies, he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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