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KARACHI: Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan and President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, Mian Zahid Hussain urged the government to take tough decisions and prefer direct subsidies for the poor. Import of cars should be stopped, all unnecessary imports should be banned, theft and line losses in the power and gas sectors should be stopped and state-run companies should be sold without delay, he added.

He said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif should ensure equitable distribution of wealth through comprehensive economic reforms after the agreement with IMF. Comprehensive reforms are necessary as money is flowing out of the pockets of the poor into the coffers of the rich, making the rich richer and richer, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that resources should flow from rich to poor so that the masses can get some relief and the present government can become popular among the masses.

He said that the middle-class is shrinking while the number of poor is increasing in the country due to negative policies which must be changed.

He said that former chairman of FBR Shabbar Zaidi has said that the country has gone bankrupt and the present government is facing the aftershocks. The country is facing load-shedding, there is a shortage of diesel and the overall situation is not satisfactory therefore the government should improve the tax structure and introduce other reforms to provide relief to the masses.

He further said that the current account deficit is now at US 14 billion dollars which will be US 19 billion dollars by the end of this fiscal year. US 18 billion dollars have been arranged in the first nine months of the current fiscal year while the government will have to arrange US 15 to 16 billion dollars in the next three months as forex reserves are depleting at a rapid pace.

He said that circular debt in the electricity and gas sectors should be controlled which is damaging the fragile economy.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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