Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain said on Monday that the efforts of the caretaker Commerce Minister Gohar Ejaz are paying off and positive results are coming. The growth in the stock market after several months is welcome, as it has crossed 53500 points, while the prices of essential commodities are also decreasing due to strict control on smuggling by the government, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that after a decline in textile exports in the last 12 months, October had seen an increase of five per cent, while exports have seen an overall increase of 14 per cent.
Speaking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that foreign remittances have increased by five per cent following the crackdown on illegal dollar trade.
The cotton production is also expected to be 11 million bales, double last year’s. Still, for long-term results, the government will have to eliminate the failed state-owned companies losing Rs 1200 billion annually, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that power companies are also losing 1000 billion rupees annually, and the IMF delegation has asked for a fresh report on the losses of government-owned companies.
The business leader said that now is the time to get rid of all these losses and provide relief to the people. He said that apart from general inflation, house and shop rents are also rising faster than people’s income, which needs to be regulated.
Traders doing business in rental shops and millions living in rented houses are worried about rising rents. The income of the people in business and people is continuously decreasing, but the expenses and rents are constantly increasing, which has taken away their peace of mind.
To improve the situation, an effective and efficient rent control system should be introduced in the country.
There is a need for reforms in the power sector, a push for import substitution, and to increase in the share of solar power and wind power in the energy basket while reforming the agricultural sector and corporate farming. The import of palm oil should be reduced through sunflower production, he said.