The new govt should prioritise economic growth and poverty reduction.

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On Monday, Dr. Muhammad Hanif Mughal, Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Shadbad, said that the incoming government should prioritise economic development and poverty reduction. The country cannot afford any more lavish spending; therefore, he said that wastage should be curtailed while state-run companies causing losses to trillions of rupees should be sold immediately.

He added that the NFC award is weakening the federation; the share of the provinces should be reduced so that the federation can service loans in a better way.

Dr Hanif Mughal stated that the country is currently under severe crisis, so the new government should keep economic development and poverty reduction as its top priorities. He said that inflation and lavish expenses should be reduced, and the service of the public should be made a priority so that the situation could be improved.

The country has become too weak and can no longer afford the waste of funds; currently, inflation is close to 30%, the budget deficit has reached 7% of GDP, and poverty is increasing due to the continuous increase in the cost of electricity, gas, and petrol. The high cost of energy is hitting production and exports; the income of the masses is decreasing, stoking poverty, while it has become impossible for the government to pay the interest on the loans.

Dr Hanif Mughal said that yearly, over eight million people are born for whom there is a severe shortage of health, education, and other facilities. He said that even in these situations, the rulers are unwilling to cut costs and disregard merit.

Failing public sector companies are losing trillions of rupees, but no government wants to sell them, and people must bear the burden with low incomes. If government intervention in public-sector companies is not reduced, it will not be profitable.

He said that under the 7th NFC Award, 63 per cent of the total federal income is distributed among the provinces, including Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, and the former FATA. Politicians and bureaucracy embezzle a large part of these funds. Despite such funds, there is no special development work in provinces, and the federal government does not even have money to pay the interest on the loans. When provinces are unwilling to collect tax money, why are they adamant about spending it? He asked.

He said there is a need to reduce the provinces’ share and increase the federation’s share in the NFC award. The financial condition of the federation remains very weak, so all the political parties are ready to govern in the provinces, but no one seems prepared to govern in the federation. If the country’s condition is to improve, instead of making loud claims, it is necessary to bring reforms to all sectors, including business laws; otherwise, the country will have no future.

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