BY: Zehra Zahid
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 Monday that inflation is widening the gulf between the rich and the poor.
The middle class has become poor, and the people are suffering under the burden of inflation, which is causing economic and social problems, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the business community cannot invest or plan for the future due to inflation, so this problem should be solved immediately.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that inflation is a significant cause of economic instability, which is an obstacle to domestic and foreign investment.
He said that unemployment will continue to rise until there is no investment in the country, and the solution to unemployment is to promote technical education.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that there is a need to create a strategy to end inflation, in which the first priority should be given to speculation and hoarding while administrative measures should be taken.
Targeted subsidies for poor people should be increased because people can no longer feed themselves. SIFC is an excellent arrangement for prioritising foreign investment under which investors will be provided with a better environment so that they can provide employment to the people and also transfer technology, he observed.
While other measures are necessary to save the country’s economy and attract domestic and foreign investors, it is also necessary to improve the broken energy sector.
The current price of energy and supply disruptions are enough to scare away any investor.
Mian Zahid Hussain further said that the capacity payments of the power sector, which were 185 billion rupees in 2013, will reach 1600 billion rupees in 2023, while by 2031 these payments will reach 3700 rupees, which will be 75 percent of the electricity bills.
The vast majority of the country’s population will not be able to buy electricity due to increasing capacity payments.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that due to corruption and incompetence, the power sector has been ruined to such an extent that success in this regard is now the only option; otherwise, it will destroy the economy.