Budget best in the prevailing situationBitter tax pill necessary to revive sick economyTax system, defence imperative for integrity of country.


Karachi (PR): President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Saturday said Rs4.313 trillion budget will trigger the long-awaited national development.

The budget shows inclination of finance minister Ishaq Dar to prefer development over stability which will unleash business activities boosting employment, collections and forex reserves, he added.

He said that a better budget was not possible on this critical juncture and we will have to swallow the bitter pill of enhances taxes to repair limping economy and end dependence on donors.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that taxes and defence are a must for keep the country safe and there is no country in the history of the world without tax system.

However, he opined that the tax system should be focused on nobility and not on the man on the street.

The veteran business leader lauded the enhanced defence allocation by 11.6 percent which was necessary to check terrorism and safeguard economic corridor from enemies.

Calling for encouraging armed forces facing insurgency and conspiracies of the enemy countries, he said that our defence budget is 781 billion while one enemy country is spending 40 trillion on it. Pakistan is spending 8 lakh rupees on a soldier in one year while a neighbouring country continue to spend Rs1.7 million on the same.

He also lauded allocation of Rs 3.5 billion to the safety of Chinese working on different projects in Pakistan including economic corridor.

Mian Zahid Hussain lauded Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s interference in the budget to hike PDSP by 20 percent or Rs 158 billion and allocation of Rs 163 billion for two LNG based power plants. The upward revised allocations for health, education, and agriculture shows seriousness of the government while soft loans on solar tube wells is to improve living standard of the planters.

He asked government to review 32 percent deduction on subsidy for power and commodity sector which will shrink this account from current Rs203.24 billion to Rs 137.6 billion. He also asked Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to ensure a people’s friendly budget as demanded all the chief ministers of other provinces to follow good governance trend of Sharif.

He said that water, power, energy, SMEs, small scale manufacturing, women and some other sectors didn’t have the attention they deserved.