Govt has to take tough decision to put devastated economy back on track

Govt has to take tough decision to put devastated economy back on track

KARACHI (INP): The incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government led by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif will have to take tough decisions to put the crippled economy of the country back on track.
This was stated by Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain, in a statement issued here on Friday.
He said that the current broad-based government represents 70% of the country, and all political parties must agree on an economic recovery agenda, followed by the closure or sale of loss-making state-owned enterprises. He said that the dysfunctional energy sector deserves special attention as it is holding the national economy hostage by incurring losses of trillions of rupees.
The tax system is flawed due to which the economy has suffocated, he said adding that punishing taxpayers and rewarding tax evaders through amnesty schemes is wrong.
The business leader said that such schemes are strongly objected to by international organizations, but such schemes are not being stopped which is giving negative signals.
He further stated that the tax system is unbalanced. The tax burden on the industrial sector is very high while the agricultural sector, which is almost equal to the industrial sector, has been given undue benefit.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that one percent of the landlords of the country occupy 22 percent of the land from which they earn at least eight hundred billion rupees per annum but they are taxed only two billion rupees which is tantamount to playing with the country’s integrity.
The income of big landowners is constantly increasing due to the sharp rise in the prices of agricultural commodities but the farmer is still in a bad shape and the agriculture sector cannot develop without making farmers prosperous. He said that the country will have no future if the centre and all provincial governments do not take full interest in taxing agricultural income.
Arab countries have developed their agriculture by making deserts green and Pakistan can do the same but this is not being taken into consideration, he added.
The import food bill of eight has risen to 6.4 billion which is unsustainable. The business leader said that the PTI government had reduced the public sector development program from Rs900 billion to Rs600 billion but now further cuts are necessary as subsidies on oil are burdening the exchequer which cannot bear the burden.
At present, the state of the economy is very bad and without tough and unpopular decisions it is impossible to recover the limping economy, he observed.

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