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 Friday said on average, Pakistan growth rate has remained 1.8 per cent less than the South Asian countries over the last three decades.
The business community play a central role in improving the growth rate, and the absence of enabling environment for them will never help increase growth and revenue. In contrast, the achievement of a revenue target of Rs5800 billion will remain a far cry.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that cornering business people would never help reduce the miseries of the masses and help the government overcome financial difficulties.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the recent budget has focused on industry, agriculture, SMEs and documentation. Still, some decisions have resulted in discontent among the businessmen representing different sectors.
He said that government plans to push the growth rate to five per cent, requiring imports of $65 billion while exports will remain $27 billion and remittances will hit the mark of $30 billion.
He added the current account deficit would reach a level of eight billion dollars as billions will be needed in debt servicing.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the government has planned to boost the growth rate to six percent during the last year of its tenure, pushing imports to $75 billion while increasing exports to $35 billion will be a challenge.
He said that the prices of petroleum products, LNG, Palm oil and cola, etc., would increase, putting pressure on the exchequer, adding that there is no shortcut to rapid economic development.
The economy cannot grow based on wishes, need, or tall claims; it requires business-friendly policies, reforms in many sectors, including public sector enterprises, decision-based on merit and years of hard work.