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Mian Zahid

Reduced cotton production a threat to textile industry: Mian Zahid

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 low cotton production will become a threat to the textile industry.

Farmers are losing interest in cotton crop due to increasing problems which is resulting in a reduction in area under cultivation and production which can become a problem to largest urban employment and largest export sector of textile, he said.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader that government should consider incentives and support price for the cotton growers which may attract farmers resulting in enhanced production.

He said that reduced cotton production will result in imports which will increase the cost of doing business; therefore, steps should be taken in the right direction.

The former minister noted that area under cultivation dropped by 12.1 percent in 2018-19 while production fell by 17.5 percent.

Last year’s cotton production remained at 9.9 million bales which were 11.94 million bales in 2017.18 and 13.96 million bales in 2014-15, he said.

The veteran business leader said that the government has set a target of 15 million bales for the current year which is very hard to achieve.

He informed that 65 percent cotton is produced in Punjab while cotton equal to almost four million bales are destroyed annually to pests, worms, and other factors.

He called for a proper mechanism to shield cotton from pests and worms and make it a little more profitable so that farmers stop switching to other crops.

Mian Zahid lauds Govt move to lure foreign investment

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 lauded the move of the Government to lure foreign companies for investment in Pakistan’s debt market.

The decision will help reduce Rs 3.4 trillion budget deficit and stabilize foreign exchange reserves which are at $8.27 billion, he said.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the IMF has barred the Government from seeking loans from the central bank, therefore, the government has decided to lure foreign investment in government securities etc.

He said that the decision will require amendment in the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 after which such companies would be given 20 percent relaxation in withholding tax, they would be immune from banking transaction tax, advance income tax and filing tax returns.

The former minister noted that interest rates were jacked up to 13.25 percent to boost reserves which has damaged economic activity but results were not very encouraging therefore the decision has been taken to invite foreign companies and banks for investment.

He said that Government’s move to reverse GIDC Ordinance is laudable and the government should stop paying dues to companies that are holding back billions on account of GIDC.

Rather, the government should adjust dues against GIDC and try to get the issue of Rs1.3 trillion stuck in litigation between taxpayers and FBR through a full bench of the Supreme Court.

PBIF demands single digit interest rate

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 interest rate has choked growth which must be reduced to prompt economic activities.

Current level of interest rates is resulting in unemployment and revenue shortfall, therefore, it should be reduced from 13.25 percent to nine percent, he said.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that revenue targets for the last two months could not be achieved while FBR will have to collect Rs500 billion during the existing month. The target for the ongoing month is difficult as the collection during the last year for the same month was Rs334 billion, he added.

The former minister noted that a thirty percent increase in the revenue collection has not helped the authorities but created unrest among the business community  and hampered economic activity.

The businessmen are facing a double whammy of the increased cost of doing business and low demand. Manufacturing is down by 30 percent while large scale manufacturing has witnessed 54 percent contraction, he said.

The continued contraction has forced manufacturers to cut production and many units are on the brink of closure resulting in revenue and employment problems, he warned.

The veteran business leader said that retailer are at daggers drawn due to changed tax policies and unnatural targets while distributors are not ready to accept the condition of NIC due to lack of trust which has become a problem for producers.

He said that buying power of the masses has been eroded while resilience of the business community is on the brink calling for immediate action by the government.

Economy should be revived if stability claims are right: 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 the Governor SBP has claimed economic stability which should result in softening of policies.

If the claim is right then policies to discourage demand should be relaxed and focus on stability has discouraged economic activity, crippled large scale manufacturing, paralyzed vending industry and left markets without customers, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that interest rate hike and other steps have damaged the businesses while forex reserves have improved with the help of loans from friendly countries and IMF.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that unprecedented loans have enabled the economy to withstand internal and external shocks however low revenue collection, exchange rate volatility, budget deficit and tensions on Kashmir can drag the economy down.

The former minister noted that current account deficit has been reduced from $18 billion to $13.6 billion which will be further reduced which required intervention and reducing imports. He said that inflation has jumped from 3.8 percent to 9 percent while the high interest rate and devaluation has damaged masses and the private sector which is reducing the GDP.

The interest rate has jumped from six percent to 13.25 percent in one year which has pushed banks to invest in government papers and avoid the private sector while the government has borrowed Rs1.37 trillion in the first month of new fiscal which has raised concerns. The private sector borrowing has come down from Rs618.2 billion to Rs 607.5 billion which is now drying up and according to Chairman FBR, the revenue collection during the first two months has reduced by ten percent.

He said that political instability is hitting exports and local as well as foreign investment which is not in the national interest.

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