Reforms and privatization can be affected: Mian Zahid


Difficult for a coalition government to improve economy
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 the coalition government will have a hard time making the economy better.
The political unrest will continue, and the economy will continue to head towards catastrophe as privatization and reform processes in several sectors will be hampered, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the split mandate has disappointed the masses and the business community, and now they are looking forward to a messiah.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that it is worrisome that no party gets a complete and clear majority in the elections. Now a coalition government will be formed, which has reduced the hope of improvement in the political and economic situation.
He said that due to the coalition government, the pace of tax reforms may slow down and the process of privatization may stop, due to which failed state-owned companies will continue to lose trillions of rupees annually.
Moreover, the business leader said that electricity and gas losses will remain, and the public will continue to bear the burden.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the coalition government will not be able to get the economy and the people out of the problems in the way that is needed; it will be more focused on dealing with the allies and political opponents.
Many people fear that the new government will not be able to continue the tough decisions of the current caretaker government, which are very important for the economic future of the country.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that during the election campaign, the PPP had promised to give free electricity to the people, while the PML-N had promised to give cheap electricity to the people. How will these promises be implemented when it is evident that electricity will become more expensive at the behest of the IMF, he questioned.
He noted that it is enough to gauge the seriousness of the political parties, as none of them mentioned the new program of the IMF in its manifesto, while the ground situation is that the survival of the country is impossible without the new program of the lender.
As part of the coalition government, the political parties will not be able to fulfill their tall claims and promises, and the political forces, including PTI and institutions, will not be able to ignore the harsh economic realities for long, he remarked.
Mian Zahid Hussain added that the new government will have to increase exports in any case because the policy of paying off old debts through new debts cannot last long.
The tax system also needs to be improved so that government revenue can be increased without increasing the burden on the public, as debt servicing is higher than revenue; thus, at least doubling the tax-to-GDP ratio has become necessary.