KARACHI: Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, Mian Zahid Hussain said the interim government will have to give top priority to the implementation of effective reforms to fix the damaged economy.
Mian Zahid Hussain further said that there is a need for a real change in Pakistan. Amnesty schemes, packages, and other shortcuts should be stopped, he added. Policies aimed at shortcuts, increased costs of production, and a limited tax base have not allowed the country to improve production and exports, he observed.
He said that international organizations have been demanding reforms in Pakistan’s tax and energy sectors for the last several decades.
The IMF and other lenders have been demanding reforms or the sale of the failed government institutions that are wasting 800 billion rupees annually, but they are always avoided; however, this time it will not be possible, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that as a result of delaying reforms to avoid political damage, the country's economy has not been able to run without debt, and if drastic measures are not taken, the economy will not be able to run even with loans.
He said that the former government pushed imports to $80 billion against $ 60 billion in revenue to boost the growth rate to six percent, which was a very irresponsible move.
The decision, which amounted to playing with the economy, resulted in a current account deficit of $ 20 billion, the effects of which will be felt for at least ten years. The efforts aimed at cheap fame have made the country a beggar.
The artificial growth spurt led to dwindling foreign exchange reserves and high inflation, which resulted in increased taxes and interest rates and the devaluation of the currency, he said. He said that while the development expenses had to be reduced to avoid default, borrowing from domestic and foreign sources started, and the interest on these loans has now increased from our national income.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023