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Mian Zahid

News of blacklisting of Pakistan by FATF was part of Indian information warfare: 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 Monday said fake news regarding blacklisting of Pakistan by FATF was part of Indian information warfare.

The fake news was issued by Indian state-run news agency which claimed that FATF’s Asia Pacific Group has blacklisted Pakistan which created panic in the market as the response of our concerned departments was very slow, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that Indian conspiracy changed the sentiments in the stock market resulting in a loss of 534.43 points to 31350.02 points which translated into the damage of Rs71 billion to the investors.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader there is a gulf between government departments and media outlets which provided an opportunity to Indian media to inflict losses on our economy.

The former minister noted blacklisting any country is beyond the mandate of Asia Pacific Group while FATF cannot announce any decision regarding Pakistan before October.

He said that Pakistan has done a lot and it is expected that the country will come out of the FATF’s grey list. He said that Modi has made life difficult for nine million Kashmiris but he has been awarded by Arab countries which have not gone down well with people in Pakistan.

He said that we always seek aid and loans from friendly Arab countries while their trade with India is around 100 billion dollars making them good partners.

Friendly countries are fed up of bailing us out therefore we should reduce dependence on friends and try to boost our economy for which exports are necessary.

PBIF calls for improved laws to contain power theft

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 existing laws have failed to contain electricity theft necessitating improvement in the system.

The staff of power companies have remained unsuccessful to demonstrate responsibility, therefore, police should be given powers to deal directly with power thieves while a reward system for the masses should also be introduced, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that system should be designed in a way so that police can take direct action against power stealers to discourage theft while keeping honest consumers insulated from harassment.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said the power sector cannot be improved with frequent upward revision in power tariff, therefore, theft should be stopped to tackle circular debt surpassing one trillion rupees.

The former minister noted that constant increase in power price has taken a toll on masses and production hitting exports. He noted that electricity worth billion is being wasted daily due to theft and line losses while honest consumers are burdened for it.

He said that a campaign was launched against power theft on the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan during which 36 thousand cases were registered, 5318 people were arrested and a little over one billion rupees were recovered which is unsatisfactory.

The income of power distribution companies jumped by 121 billion rupees from October 2018 to June 2019 while line losses were reduced by 1.4 percent which should be improved.

Line losses should be brought to international level and recoveries should be improved to provide relief to the government which pays billions in subsidies.

Interest rates cut, relief to sme and export sector needed: 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 economic activities are stagnant, industrial units are being closed, unemployment is rising while GDP has contracted from 5.8 percent to 2.7 percent which may slide further. Inflation is also rising at a rapid pace therefore interest rates should be reduced while steps should be taken to revive ailing SME and export sector, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that business community is pinning high hopes on the recent meeting between the Prime Minister Imran Khan and Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan and they are positive about some remedial measures and relief.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that despite best efforts by the government the economy could not be improved calling for urgent intervention.

The former minister noted that tax collection could not be improved while the gap between income and expenditure could not be bridged. Similarly, the difference between imports and exports remained high which is very damaging to the economy.

He noted that large scale manufacturing contracted by 3.6 percent, highest in a decade while serious efforts were not initiated to tame circular debt which has surpassed one trillion rupees. He said that budget deficit jumped to Rs3.44 trillion or 8.9 percent of the GDP which is highest in the last 28 years. The budget deficit during 2017-18 was Rs22 billion which was 6.6 percent of the GDP.

The government could not reduce expenditures despite claims and missed the deficit target by 82 percent or Rs 1.5 trillion, he said, adding that reduction of Rs 4 billion in developmental expenditure and tax measures failed to bring any positive change, therefore, the government should consider allaying reservations of the business community and provide them some relief so that they can play their due role in national development.

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