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 government has no option but to increase tax income and exports to make Pakistan a respected and independent country on the global stage. History suggests that the nations reliant on loans and aids are never respected or heard and they lose the ability to defend themselves from adversaries, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that Pakistan is facing increased challenges, especially on the economic front, that can be dealt with by increasing tax base, revenue, and exports or we will have no future.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said time has changed as now the influential nations are giving paying more attention to financial warfare to continue their dominance. The countries are successfully using their weapons of economic destruction to weaken economics of poor nations to achieve their unholy designs while Pakistan’s economy is not strong enough to withstand economic terrorism.
The former minister noted that a weak economy is of no use even if the military is strong and the country can end up in a mess like the former USSR, Iraq, Syria or Libya. He said that we have the option to make Pakistan a great country by reducing the size of the undocumented economy and consider paying taxes honestly as the sectors having 18 to 20 percent share in the GDP remain out of the tax net which has become an issue of national security. He noted that now improved business climate has little to do with the pleasing business community and a lot more to do with national security as employment and revenue is directly linked to economic activities.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that all the sectors including the industrial sector should discharge their national obligations and play their role in strengthening the economy while the government should introduce reforms and control the smuggling of raw material and finished goods.
Promoting manufacturing has become an obligation as once Pakistan’s exports were more than the total exports of the countries called Asia Tigers. There was a time when renowned economists would say that the pace of development for Pakistan is greater than the speed of development in China, India, Malaysia, and other countries but the vested interests derailed the process for their petty gains.
Pakistan can again achieve what it has achieved in the past for which political will and unanimity among all stakeholders is required otherwise we should be prepared to see increased anarchy, poverty, unemployment, terrorism and slavery, he warned.
Highest employment generating sector in a tailspin: 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 largest employment sector of agriculture is nose-diving due to the apathy of policymakers.
The collapse of critical crops, negative growth in the agricultural sector and exploitation of farmers has stoked rural poverty, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the government should immediately interfere in this important sector with an aim to revive it.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that Pakistan was once considered an agricultural country but the policy shifted towards industrialization which damaged the agricultural sector badly while the goals of industrialisation left much to be desired.
The former minister noted that there are many factors contributing to the fall of this sector including the negative role of landed nobility having large holdings.
Reforms in this sector remain limited to announcements while it has been left at the mercy of exploiters like the loan sharks, middlemen, sub-standard seeds and fake pesticides.
The government should fix the price of important crops or reduce the cost of inputs as developed countries provide subsidies worth billions of dollars to their agriculture sector while the poor countries are forced by the lenders to withdraw their support to this sector which is against the national interests, he said.
Policy of squeezing existing taxpayers against national interests: 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 the policy of squeezing taxpayers despite the contraction in the economy is against the national interests. Unnecessary focus on existing taxpayers to increase revenue is resulting in frustration and disappointment which can lead to flight of capital, he said.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that non-compliance by the small traders has made achievement of tax target impossible.
The former minister noted that the economy has contracted from 5.8 percent to 3 percent resulting in sluggish economic activities; therefore, highhandedness cannot help increase revenue. He said that suppressing demand has helped the government reduce imports by ten billion dollars which reduced revenue but also made the achievement of targets an uphill task.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that Pakistan progressed rapidly during 60s in which the local investors played a major role and it’s not very difficult to motivate them to repeat history.
Other countries should be asked to invest in Pakistan but local investors should also be encouraged by providing them an enabling environment as foreigners have no interest in Pakistan except profit while local investors have other considerations too.
He noted that a policy is needed to trigger local investment, the agro-based industry should get first preference and high-tech industry should be promoted to boost employment and revenue. He said that the country is facing multiple problems because of policies which have preferred real estate, trading, and speculation over industry taking a toll on the economy.
The business leader noted that the campaign against corruption launched 15 months back has proved counterproductive which should continue without negative propagation.
The issue of corruption has been highlighted in such a way that the majority of people have started suspecting everyone who is rich while country has become a laughing stock internationally without any outcome. He said that the business community should not be allowed to practice corruption but every successful businessman should not be suspected otherwise, they would start thinking to move to some other country where investors are respected and honoured.