Political stability and the business environment will improve after Sharif takes over as PM.

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Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain said on Monday that the elevation of Shahbaz Sharif as Prime Minister is good for the economy and the masses. The PM will continue the process of reforms, which will stabilise the economy, increase the value of the rupee, and make the business atmosphere favourable.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that Shahbaz Sharif has been a successful Chief Minister before, and the current IMF program results from his efforts as the Prime Minister.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that Shahbaz Sharif understands the economic issues and their importance. He enjoys the support of Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari and has good relations with friendly countries. He added that many people in his party are experts in economic affairs, and with their advice, the government can be removed from the current whirlpool of problems. The business leader said that Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif invited all the parties for the charter of the economy as soon as he was elected, and he also offered reconciliation, which all the parties should welcome.

PTI should take advantage of this offer and formulate a comprehensive strategy on both these issues in the national interest. A mechanism should be created to ensure continuity in economic policies, as frequent policy changes tend to confuse investors.

Mian Zahid Hussain said it is essential to sign a new agreement with the IMF, while the focus should be on reducing energy costs on a priority basis. The repeated increase in the price of electricity, gas, and oil temporarily relieves this sick sector but takes a lot away from the masses.

According to the PM, the energy sector is causing a loss of more than 1000 billion rupees annually. The electricity tariff in Pakistan is higher than that of all the countries in the region, and the industrial sector is suffering because of this.

Due to the high cost of electricity, production is expensive, demand is low, and exports are being damaged. High power tariffs also harm the process of reducing imports and increasing employment through local production. Expensive energy has become a significant obstacle to industrialisation and investment in the country.

The government is putting all the burden of unused electricity payments on the consumers. Similarly, the masses are made to pay for theft of electricity and gas, cross-subsidy, line losses, and reduction in recovery on the public and the industrial sector, thereby increasing poverty and weakening the industrial sector.

The volume of imported fuel must be reduced for clean and environment-friendly energy. There is a need to give incentives to the clean energy sectors, which is being discouraged, and the Prime Minister should take notice of this.

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