Pakistan’s resources cannot support 200 white elephants.

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Former President of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Dr Shahid Rasheed Butt, said on Monday that the resources of Pakistan are insufficient to support two hundred white elephants. He noted that state-owned firms had wasted four trillion rupees in five years, and the entire cost of corruption rests with the people.

Shahid Rasheed Butt said in a statement issued here today that the country’s resources are not able to carry the burden of two hundred white elephants, so the government should get rid of them. These two hundred state-run enterprises have not contributed to the country’s development. Instead, four trillion rupees have been wasted in five years, the burden borne by people with low incomes, which has compromised their quality of life.

According to Shahid Rasheed Butt, every government that comes to power transforms government institutions into recruitment centres. Every government recruits an army of incompetent and corrupt individuals, contributing to losses worth trillions of rupees.

New departments are also established to get party workers employed at the cost of the country.

Moreover, political interference in state-run corporations has crumbled them, which has become a burden on the country. There are many such departments whose existence is unnecessary, but millions of rupees are being spent on them.

Shahid Rashid Butt said that dozens of countries have developed by adopting the path of privatisation, foreign investment, elimination of subsidies, discouraging manipulation, promoting competition, and adopting a free trade model.

He said that Vietnam was a very backward country that undertook economic reforms in 1986 to overcome poverty, unemployment, and inflation. Their leadership surprised the world by selling 9000 state-owned companies in a few years.

Now, Vietnam has become a model for many countries, and it is growing at a rate of seven percent per year.

On the other hand, it takes decades for Pakistani politicians to sell a single company, which speaks volumes about the competence and honesty of leaders and bureaucrats.

The business leader noted that with a young and expanding population, Pakistan’s largest difficulty is its sluggish economic growth. The current state of affairs shows that the middle class is shrinking, and poverty is increasing.

The situation in regional nations is precisely the opposite of this. Their vibrant middle class is growing, poverty is declining, and their growth rate is impressive.

He said that if the Pakistani government can eliminate failed institutions, there will be no need to impose more taxes on the people and increase the cost of electricity, gas, and petrol.

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