Karachi, May 24, 2023 (PPI-OT): 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 the production cost of the industrial sector should be significantly reduced in the coming budget. Otherwise, he said, the future of industries in the country will be uncertain hitting production, exports, employment and revenue.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that thousands of industries have closed in the country, many are operating at half or less capacity, while millions of people have become unemployed, and if this situation continues, the country's economic condition will further deteriorate. Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that due to the increased value of the dollar, a surge in bank mark-up, depreciation of the rupee, unsustainable inflation exceeding 36 percent, import restrictions and political instability, the industrial sector is in dire straits.
This important sector has deteriorated and if it was not supported, the revenue target of FBR will not be met while the default of banks will also increase, he added. To revive the industrial sector, it is necessary to reduce its cost of production, he said, adding that the SMEs play a fundamental role in the development of any country, but this sector is also being neglected in Pakistan. There is a need for easier financing, less tax and reduced audit burden for this sector so that it can play its role in the development of the country and provide employment to the people.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that textile, auto, pharma, steel and many other industrial sectors are on the verge of collapse and they need to be bailed out immediately. The previous government allowed more industries to be set up in tribal areas than needed for political gains and gave them tax exemptions due to which their production cost is low and they pose a threat to industries in other parts of the country. Competition between the industries of the regions should be ensured for the sake of a level playing field, he added.
Mian Zahid Hussain further said that the supply of imported raw materials for the industries should be ensured. While the requirement of ID cards for purchase should be made effective or abolished. A large part of the country's economy is undocumented, which will not agree to documentation until they have confidence in government institutions and officials while documenting the economy can generate an additional tax of four trillion rupees per year. Increased smuggling and the Afghan Transit Trade Agreement are also continuing to damage Pakistan's economy, which needs to be reviewed, he said.
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