Poor unable to play role in country’s uplift: Mian Zahid Hussain

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Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said the economic policies made for the benefit of a few influential have bankrupted the country.

The country will have no future until the policies are centered on the welfare of the people and equitable distribution of wealth is not ensured, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that policies that push resources from the bottom up make the poor poorer and leave them unable to play any role in the country’s development.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the majority of the capital is flowing toward non-productive sectors instead of industry and agriculture which will never allow national development.

He lauded the policy of improving relations with the United States terming it in the national interest because it is the major export market of Pakistan, seventeen percent of exports are consumed in this market and the overall trade balance has been in favor of Pakistan since the mid-1990s.

However, he said, the balance of trade in agricultural products is in favor of the United States.

For many decades, the policymakers in Pakistan have been focusing on expanding the tax net, but it has not been able to increase it and Pakistan collects 4000 billion rupees less in taxes than the world standard.

If the POS i.e. Point of Sales system is effectively implemented, the tax net will automatically increase and poverty will also decrease, he observed.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that at present all policymaking is limited to accounting and revolves around the twin deficits. In the electricity and gas sectors, there is a deficit of 800 billion rupees per year and 600 megawatts of electricity is lost or stolen every day.

Government institutions lose 600 billion rupees annually, until the big holes are closed, the problems will not be solved but will increase because our economy will not continue without major changes.

For change, energy and agricultural import substitution is necessary so that resources could be spent on health, education, clean drinking water, transport, and other sectors,

The quality of life of the people can be improved, their condition can be changed and they can play a role in the development of the country. Without radical changes in the policies, the country will never be able to develop, he said.