KARACHI: Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan and President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum Mian Zahid Hussain has said the most important economic policies in Pakistan are made on the basis of desires, expectations and assumptions instead of ground realities.
Similarly, important decisions are not based on merit but on the basis of personal likes and dislikes, which has entangled nation in the endless conflicts, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that an important reason for the decline in foreign investment in Pakistan is the rusty justice system, which ranks 129th out of 140 countries in the global ranking.
He said that in our country only those policies are allowed to succeed that increase the wealth of the elite.
Due to poor governance, the selfishness of the elite and the delaying of important decisions and necessary reforms, the economy could not develop according to its potential and Pakistan's external debt has exceeded 126 billion dollars, he added.
He noted that instead of reducing poverty, the present policies are increasing the poverty and number of those who are disadvantaged.
The current economic crisis has reduced the number of the country's middle class from five Crore to four Crore and it is decreasing further, he observed.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the leading economists of the world say that endless borrowing will not improve the situation in Pakistan amid the deteriorating health of the people and a failing educational system.
In order to hide their incompetence and corruption, the rulers have always made people believe that the whole world is engaged in continuous conspiracies against Pakistan due to which this country is not able to develop.
These lame excuses are employed to divert the attention of the masses from the pressing problems to further promote the vested interests of the elite.
The importance of human resources in Pakistan has never been understood nor has any serious effort made to develop it. In 1990, the per capita income of Pakistan and India was 370 dollars. Now the per capita income in Pakistan is 1505 dollars while in India it is 2277 dollars and the situation is getting worse for Pakistan.
He noted that a large number of the population in Pakistan does not pay taxes, according to international standards. We pay fewer taxes by 4000 billion rupees annually. And many politicians also consider it an insult to pay taxes while tax evasion is considered a right.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that an uninterrupted supply of electricity and gas should be ensured to businesses in order to compete in the international market. If the prices of power are kept in line with India, China, Vietnam and Bangladesh, exports will increase.
He said that a reasonable increase is possible in the utility prices, but some people consider it their duty to challenge Pakistani industrialists and accuse Pakistani exporters of getting subsidies under various pretexts. These people need to change their mindset.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023