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 IMF programme has been paused but not derailed.
The Government should try to restore the programme without compromising on the interests of the masses as the lender is not happy over power price freeze and some budget measures directed at boosting growth rate, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the government cannot afford to keep the IMF unhappy for long as the economy is still dependent on loans.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that budget has preferred growth over stabilisation which will add to deficit, may hit tax collection and other targets.
Moreover, the resistance by industrial sector, distributors, wholesalers and retailers may dent expected tax collection to put the plans of the government in jeopardy, he added.
The government will have to boost developmental activities while provinces may not come up to the expectations adding to the deficit, he said, adding that the dependence of the government has increased on petroleum levy which is helping to earn Rs600 billion.
Government can increase levy but it would also increase inflation which will be not acceptable for the masses while it can also opt for increased fuel consumption by promoting economic activities.
So far, the government has not initiated meaningful reforms in the power sector, tax administration and state-run companies wasting hundreds of billions while the circular debt remains a threat therefore increased economic activity is the best option for the government to boost its income, he said.