President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said productive sector should get top priority in the upcoming budget. The key to increased exports, revenue generation and job creation lies with the productive sectors which should be promoted to make country self-reliant, he said.
The veteran business leader said that the direction of the economy is not right while capital continues to flow towards speculation and services sectors because of good profits and less trouble while the industrial sector continues to suffer. He said that country cannot end its dependence on loans unless the industrial sector becomes the most profitable sector for which policy intervention is necessary. He noted that running industry has become so difficult that many industrialists have found refuge in speculation and trading.
The former minister said that ambassadors of the countries which have inked trade deals with Pakistan have complained that Pakistani investors are not interested in setting up industry and they prefer trading over everything else. He said that imposing regulatory duties on imports has helped a lot to reduce deficit but it has also reduced revenue by Rs 400 billion.
The business leader also called for reducing cost of doing business for the industrial sector otherwise production will become difficult which will invite more multinationals in Pakistan. Industrialists should get relief as the price of energy, taxes, duties and raw material are barring their development while the government should take investments by locals as seriously as foreign investment.
Mian Zahid Hussain also called for controlling Rs200 billion theft and same amount of line losses to keep prices of energy stable. The process of permission to establish an industrial unit, water, getting gas and electricity connections, registration of the factory and its building, bank borrowings, payment of taxes, facilitation of cross border trade, discouraging smuggling, honoring agreements between government and investors, and dispute resolution should be made easy for rapid industrialization of the country.