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 sliding economy, unemployment and continued inflation has resulted in political instability in the country.
Masses and industrialists are paying a heavy price for the instability and they would continue to brave it in the near future, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that political and economic stability requires more than loans, claims, promises, slogans, and speeches otherwise, not a single country on earth would have been underdeveloped.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the world would not have witnessed unemployment, conflicts and extremism if tall claims were enough for stability.
The former minister noted that political and economic stability cannot be manufactured; it requires balance in external trade, economic activities, and vision to understand and tackle ground realities. He said that the aspirations and demands of the masses can be ignored as it creates space for the extremist elements to play their game. The government need to improve governance and the economy which is going down due to falling exports and other reasons resulting in inflation, unemployment, and unrest, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain noted that the unrest among masses have provided an opportunity for the opposition to unite against the government.
The opposition would have lost appeal if masses were given relief and the services they deserve. He said that increased political intolerance has supported the current protest in Islamabad which has broken the record of sit-ins of PTI and Tehreek e Labaik. The opposition parties got a favourable situation without effort as the ground was created by those close to the corridors of power.
He observed that the government was compelled to provide relief to non-filers which will push downward revision in the revenue target of Rs5500 billion and introduce mini budgets. He called upon the opposition to observe restraint and that all patriotic powers should be united on a joint economic development programme.
PBIF demands fundamental changes in cotton policy
Pakistan can lose title of major cotton-producing country: 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 the country can lose title of major cotton-producing country if cotton policy and sowing methods are not changed altogether.
Cotton crop is failing to cope with the challenge of climate change, therefore, the government should intervene in it immediately while the textile sector should also step forward to save its future, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that cotton production was 15 million bales in 2013-14 which fell to ten million bales during the last year while the production in the current season is yet dismal.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader cotton growers are shifting to other crops due to low productivity, reduced profit, climate change, sub-standard seed and pesticides and other factors which is a great threat to the country’s agricultural and industrial base.
The former minister noted that there is a need to introduce pest-resistant seed which can withstand climate change and other problems otherwise all stakeholders will suffer as hundreds of ginning factories have already been closed due to low output.
Continued reduction in cotton output is hitting the largest export earner and job providing sector while the textile sector should not remain confined to the demand for duty-free cotton imports.
The textile sector should not wait for the government to take action and they should do something including R&D on their own so that the quality and quantity of cotton can be enhanced.
He noted that the rice sector is too small as compared to the textile sectors but rice exporters have taken commendable steps enhance the quality and quantity and exports of rice therefore the textile sector can also do that which is in their own interest.
The estimate of reduction in cotton production in Punjab has been upward revised to 34.5 percent from the earlier 33 percent while Sindh has suffered a loss of 18.15 percent which should act as a wakeup call to the government and all stakeholders.
Mian Zahid asks govt to shield vulnerable from austerity decisions
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 Husain on Friday asked the government to shield vulnerable from decisions to reduce expenses and increase revenue. Reduction in profit of National Saving Schemes will hit poor pensioners and widows who are finding it extremely difficult to live under merciless double-digit inflation.
Mian Zahid Husain said that the elderly should not be squeezed for the sake of revenue generation aimed at economic stability.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that interests of poor and vulnerable should not be overlooked while important decisions are made.
The former minister noted that there are a lot of people who have no other safe option but to invest in NSS to make both ends meet and now the reduction in profits will divert some capital to the stock exchange which is highly risky.
He said that the government is under pressure of international institutions to reduce expenses and increase revenue but it is answerable to the masses who are reeling under poverty. Those who have spent their lives working for the development of the country deserve a better deal, he said, adding that their savings should be shielded from risky ventures so that frequent scandals should be stopped.
He said that the whole pension system should be transformed with the help of technology to minimize human involvement which will make it transparent.
He noted that federal and provincial governments were supposed to spend Rs1.6 trillion on developments during the current year but only one-tenth have been spent which indicates that it would not be utilized or funds would be diverted to other heads which will add to the miseries of masses.