SAARC CCI Senior Vice President (SVP) Iftikhar Ali Malik Wednesday greeting Dr Shamshad Akhtar for assuming charge of Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs in caretaker government demanded prompt corrective measures on war footing for help reviving the national economy.
Iftikhar Ali Malik said sound economy is prerequisite for the survival of the country and strengthening of democratic system of government and he said the caretaker government would address Pakistan’s fundamental economic and social challenges which were ignored by the political leaders due to their ‘ Game of Thrones’.
“The first and urgent goal must be to end human suffering in Pakistan. One-third of Pakistan’s people live below the UN’s ‘poverty line’. Pakistan’s social ‘indicators’ for health, education, child mortality, the status of women are among the worst in the world. What is most alarming is that poverty has increased, not decreased, over the past few years,” he added.
He suggested to Finance Minister for taking measures to impose spending cuts, ‘zero budgeting’; a comprehensive GST (with the aim of raising tax-to-GDP ratio from 8.5 to 15 per cent over five years); full autonomy for the State Bank; and ‘inflation targeting’, implementation of NFC award, measures to increase tax on agricultural incomes, full review and rationalisation of financial subsidies provided by the federal and provincial governments and reform especially of public-sector enterprises which are incurring annual losses larger than the development budget.
Iftikhar Malik assured Dr Shamshad Akhtar of all-out support of the business community in removing bottlenecks, which are hampering speedy development. “We hope Dr Akhatar who also hold the Federal Commerce Minister portfolio will make every effort to accomplish economic revitalisation and an escape from deflation, while steadily implementing growth strategies,” he added.
He urged the government to offer special package of power and gas tariffs for rapid industrial growth on the pattern of China. They believe in the rule of law, promotion of democratic norms, and supremacy of the constitution, besides complete transparency in the affairs of the federation, Malik said.