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KARACHI: Former Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Syed Shabbar Zaidi on Saturday said that Pakistan should strengthen its bilateral ties with the United States of America (US), besides promoting trade relation with regional countries including China and India.

Addressing a seminar titled “The state of Pakistan Economy: What Next?” at Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA), Shabbar said US has been Pakistan’s one of the leading trade partners that generate the greatest positive trade balance. He said the neighbouring China is supplier of products to Pakistan.

He expressed doubts on the transparency of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and called the authorities to ensure transparency in the multi-billion-dollar project.

On current state of Pakistan’s economy, he presented three scenarios of the economy. The first one is, “We don’t have fiscal space of debt servicing of Rs 7,000 billion in this financial year, and go for general elections.”

For this, country needs to maintain status quo and continue to take loans from lending agencies to meet the financial needs.

The second scenario is to go for re-profiling of foreign debts, make desirable amendments in the National Finance Commission (NFC) award, with no immediate elections in the country.

The third and final scenario is to bring long-term autocratic regime in the country, restructuring of economy and implementation of autocratic economic policies.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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