Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said Pakistan’s economic model had been corrupted since day one. He said that its entire focus is on raising living standards through imports, spending more than income, rewarding the elite with loans, and burdening the masses.
Mian Zahid Hussain said such a defective model is enough to make any rich country poor.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that Pakistan’s economy depends on imports three times more than our exports.
Our period of growth has lasted up to two or three years, followed by the crisis because this growth is dependent on imports, which increases the wealth of the elite but does not trickle down to the poor masses, he added.
Since 1958, the twenty-three programs of the IMF and the huge loans obtained from other sources clearly indicate our negative policies.
Every time country grows by five percent or more, foreign exchange reserves fall by twenty-five to fifty percent as a result of paying for imports, which is proof that this growth is false.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that Ayub Khan’s era is considered to be the golden age in terms of economy, in which exports were only 7% of GDP, while loans from INF were taken for three times.
He said that for the last 22 years, efforts are being made to forcibly run the failed government institutions by taking loans and the losses of the electricity and gas sectors are also being paid with loans.
Country is forced to take new loans at high interest rates to repay the old loans. The IMF’s conditions include 100% recovery of electricity and gas bills, settling the circular debt and a mini-budget to reduce deficit.
The business leader noted that productivity of labor in our country is very low and no one has ever paid attention to increasing it. Due to negative policies, Pakistan’s investment to GDP ratio is negligible compared to the South Asian average of 30%.
Development on a sustainable basis in Pakistan, like other countries, is only possible once the politicians agree to tackle all kinds of losses in economic matters and the direction of the economy is made export rather than import.