Consistent economic policies can put the economy back on track – Mahfooz Elahi

  • April 07, 2011
Pakistan is facing multiple internal and external challenges because of inconsistent economic policies, the government would have to take explicit measures in consultation with the business community.

Energy shortage, circular debt, taxation reforms, restructuring of public sector enterprises and documentation of the economy are among the critical issues of Pakistan economy, Mahfooz Elahi, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has said, while addressing a meeting at ICCI.

He stressed the need for enhancing tax to GDP ratio to help sustainable economic development, adding that it was not only the solution for economic development as there was dire need to exploit the true tax potential of the country. The government should increase the tax to GDP ratio up to 15 percent in next couple of years by bringing about tax reforms to bring more sectors of economy into the tax net, he maintained.

Pakistan could achieve the economic stability by practicing continuity of consistent economic policies, he added.

Mahfooz Elahi said that the entire business community has serious reservations about heavy dependence on foreign loans that has reached over $58 billion and if the government continues to follow IMF directions, the situation would further get worse. The government was also continuously borrowing from the commercial banks to keep afloat the non productive Public Sector Enterprises (PSE) which results in accumulation of circular debt, government should restructure the PSEs, he opinioned.

He said that Pakistan was confronted with an acute energy crisis which has put heavy burden on economy. He also urged the government to build dams and water reservoirs  immediately for generating cheap electricity. He further said that people of China have shown interest in helping Pakistan and its people, and we should give full support to them.

He said that it would be a great service to the nation if scientists and engineers of the country work together for exploiting the indigenous energy sources of the country and make Pakistan self-sufficient in power sector.