KARACHI: Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance Mian Zahid Hussain said that due to the country's economic condition and IMF sanctions, the government cannot give any major relief to the people. The government will have to take the necessary steps for the IMF review in November, and the only way to provide relief to the people is to try to increase tax revenue, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that according to a recent World Bank report on Pakistan, the budget deficit is increasing, which should be taken seriously. He said that instead of taking loans continuously, the tax system should be improved. He said that taxes should be imposed on sectors with political influence so that the tax system can be balanced and broad-based. In order to improve the condition of the people, taxes should be imposed on agricultural income, real estate, retail, and wholesale sectors.
By improving the tax system, the government will have an income of thousands of billions of rupees, and it will be possible to stop taking loans on the strictest terms, he noticed. This income can be used to provide relief to the people, and the conditions for the remaining IMF loan can be eased.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the poor people did not play any role in bringing the country's economic conditions to default, but they are the ones who get the punishment. Shutter power and political forces are involved in this sin, and people hope that this system will be reformed, for which the caretaker government will have to take the necessary steps. Pakistan was a prosperous country, but now it is among the poorest countries, with the world's fifth-largest population while poverty and unemployment are increasing.
Many people are no longer able to cope with the situation, and many people living in cities are taking their children out of school and sending their families back to the villages from the cities, making the future of the new generation dark.
Due to inflation and unemployment, many workers are also leaving the cities and going to the villages which are creating a new crisis that has become necessary to stop.
Elections are approaching, and the people should ask the politicians who are seeking votes about the country's conditions and get assurances about just taxation; otherwise, any clear change in the country's condition will be impossible, and the people will continue to suffer.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023