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 Friday that the size of the economy has to be increased to one trillion dollars to increase exports to one hundred billion dollars. Currently, the size of the economy is 350 billion dollars, and the volume of exports is 27.50 billion dollars. In comparison, the volume of non-textile and agricultural exports is only about ten billion dollars.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the tax system is of fundamental importance in expanding the size of the economy, which needs to be improved through reforms. Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that if the increase in the price of electricity and gas continues, it will be impossible to export as much as last year. The business leader said that increasing the current tax revenue by at least 100% and increasing the tax-to-DP ratio to at least 17% is necessary to improve things; otherwise, the country will have to run on borrowed money.
He noted that the tax system has to be simplified, and the concept of non-filer and unregistered has to be eliminated to ensure economic development. The need for interaction between taxpayers and tax collectors has to be reduced with the help of technology, which will reduce corruption and complaints and increase taxpayers’ confidence in the system.
Mian Zahid Hussain added that reforms are needed in FBR in light of feedback from the business community so that things can proceed better. If smuggling is not eradicated, doing documented business in the country will become challenging.
Apart from this, the under-invoicing, over-invoicing, and misdeclaration must also be eliminated. Mian Zahid Hussain further said that the system of betting, hoarding, profiteering, and handi has to be rooted out so that the people can get some relief.
He said that the failed government institutions should be sold immediately, the size of the government should be reduced, electricity and gas theft should be stopped, and their prices should be reduced so that the cost of doing business can come down. The country’s economy could function properly.
Mian Zahid Hussain further said that due to the speed at which the reserves of gas are depleting, threats are looming over the fertilizer industry, while the effects of the shortage of domestic gas are becoming prominent in the industrial sector. The industrial sector has been affected for years as gas has to be bought at a higher price.
To combat this threat, foreign oil and gas exploration companies should be encouraged; their security should be ensured to operate in Pakistan, thereby reducing the import bill of energy and continuing the gas supply to industry and agriculture.