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 Friday said the policy of squeezing taxpayers despite the contraction in the economy is against the national interests. Unnecessary focus on existing taxpayers to increase revenue is resulting in frustration and disappointment which can lead to flight of capital, he said.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that non-compliance by the small traders has made achievement of tax target impossible.
The former minister noted that the economy has contracted from 5.8 percent to 3 percent resulting in sluggish economic activities; therefore, highhandedness cannot help increase revenue. He said that suppressing demand has helped the government reduce imports by ten billion dollars which reduced revenue but also made the achievement of targets an uphill task.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that Pakistan progressed rapidly during 60s in which the local investors played a major role and it’s not very difficult to motivate them to repeat history.
Other countries should be asked to invest in Pakistan but local investors should also be encouraged by providing them an enabling environment as foreigners have no interest in Pakistan except profit while local investors have other considerations too.
He noted that a policy is needed to trigger local investment, the agro-based industry should get first preference and high-tech industry should be promoted to boost employment and revenue. He said that the country is facing multiple problems because of policies which have preferred real estate, trading, and speculation over industry taking a toll on the economy.
The business leader noted that the campaign against corruption launched 15 months back has proved counterproductive which should continue without negative propagation.
The issue of corruption has been highlighted in such a way that the majority of people have started suspecting everyone who is rich while country has become a laughing stock internationally without any outcome. He said that the business community should not be allowed to practice corruption but every successful businessman should not be suspected otherwise, they would start thinking to move to some other country where investors are respected and honoured.