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 Wednesday said the country is in grip of uncertainty and fears after the annual budget which is taking a toll on the weak economy.
The political situation is not calm, stock market and industries are worried and confused while economic indicators are worsening increasing value of dollar and gold, he said.
Now, the interest rate hike will result in another wave of inflation as the policy rate during the current government has touched the mark of 5.75 percent, he added.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the government and business community must join hands to bailout country from the mess otherwise everyone will suffer.
The former minister noted that local and foreign investment is not possible in the current discouraging circumstances as masses have to brave a new crisis on a daily basis.
IMF view inflation at 13 percent while SBP thinks it 11 percent, he said, adding that business community is confused over some clauses of Finance Act 2019 despite clarifications which is a reason behind the reluctance of traders to come into the tax net.
He said that judicial activism and incompetence on the part of officials has resulted in a fine of almost six billion dollars as out of court settlement was not considered despite calls. Similarly, he said, the sale of steel mills would have saved billions of rupees but it was overturned and LNG deal was also scrapped which would have tackled energy crisis much earlier.
The government should make a mechanism to safeguard the interests of local and foreign investors and should not allow incompetent officials to sign deals which are not amendable at a later stage, he demanded. He said that some conditions and demands of IMF and FATF have shaken the economy.
Mian Zahid demands more govt actions for corruption eradication
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 Monday said the government is taking serious steps to eradicate corruption. Corruption in every form is damaging for the country but the most damaging is its presence in legislature and officials, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that corruption in the nobility adds to poverty make country dependent on IMF and other institutions for survival.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that government is taking steps against political elite involved in corrupt practices but it has not taken significant steps to discourage corruption in different departments.
Discretionary powers are also linked to bribery which must be reduced to help masses and encourage local and foreign investment, he said, adding that the strike by traders is part of the protest against discretionary powers.
The former minister noted that using fear as a tool to discourage corruption and non-compliance will not pay dividends therefore more should be done including allaying reservations of the trading community. Anyone who wants to establish a factory, build a plaza or home, import or exports something is confronted with hundreds of requirements by different departments, government officials and host of taxes which are sometimes enough to dishearten investors. This is a reason behind Pakistan’s dismal performance on ease of doing business index where it ranks 156th.
The culture of unnecessary NOCs, permits, approvals and certificates etc. which benefits officials more than the government should be changed to reduce the cost of doing business, he demanded. He said that automation is the most economical way to save time and money of masses, encourage business community, reduce corruption and promote an economy which is in tatters.
Masses, businessmen pinning hope on PM’s visit to US: Mian Zahid Hussain
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 Pakistan can benefit from Prime Minister attractive personality during his upcoming visit to the US.
US attitude towards Pakistan is getting better and declaring a separatist group as a terrorist organization is part of the desire of Washington to improve ties with Pakistan, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that masses and the business community has pinned high hopes on the PM Imran’s visit to the US as it can result in some flexibility in the stance of IMF and FATF.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader any development on Kashmir issue is not possible due to the honeymoon between the US and India but Pakistan can play a role in bringing Taliban and the US close to a peace deal. A peace deal will ensure the withdrawal of US troops, save fifty billion dollars annually and help the US to focus on the Gulf crisis.
The former minister noted that India can try to sabotage the whole process; therefore, tackling New Delhi should be the responsibility of the Oval Office.
He said that issues like US tensions with China and Iran will also come under discussion as a war can hit Pakistan very badly while the PM may get two billion dollars under coalition support fund held by the US. Imran should also mention two major military offensives against terrorists which has also resulted in relative peace in some Afghan bordering areas.
Pakistan should tell the US very clearly that it will not compromise its relations with China, CPEC will not be abandoned and the dominance of any country in the region will not be accepted.