The Supreme Court decision on the 18th amendment is not directly linked to the economic certainty of the country which was facing the same economic condition even before the case started six months back.
However, every political or judicial decision has its on implications for a society and its economy. Usually, after every political or judicial decision, the economy comes back on track, just like the stock market grew by 5 per cent and rupee got strengthened after the SC verdict on the 18th amendment.
These views expressed by the participants in Jang Economic Session on ëThe Supreme Court decision on the 18th amendment and its implications for economyí, held here on Tuesday.
The discussion was hosted by Sikandar Lodhi and Intikhab Tariq and participated in by renowned industrialist Almas Hyder, former senior vice- president of LCCI Abdul Basit, Standing Committee on SME of FPCCI chairman Rehmat Ullah Javed, lawyers Asim Hafeez and Rana Sajjad Ahmed.
Almas Hyder said that, after the apex court decision, every thing was settling down but everyone was worried about what would happen before the court decision. It has been observed that businesses become stable after every court decision, he added.
He said that the present economic situation was a result of the war on terror. ìAbolishing the concurrent list was a big achievement of the 18th amendment. Now, the provinces get more resources from the NFC Awardî, he said. The provinces must focus now on how to evolve their industrial, education and health policies for economic prosperity.
Abdul Basit said that the Supreme Court decision was in accordance with law and there was no need to discuss it. He said that the government must focus on how to improve economic certainty in the country, rather than spending energy on judicial issues. He said that uncertainty adversely affected the economy.
He was of the view that, before becoming a part of the war on terror, the country was on the way to progress and businesses were thriving. However, after the country became an ally of the US in the terror war, economic activities were seriously affected, he added. With the government talking about broadening the tax base, local investors are leaving the country, not to talk of the foreign investment in Pakistan, he said. He suggested that the government should focus on improvement of tax collection and, to achieve that, it should provide favorable business conditions. He said that the NATO containers had destroyed the roads of the country. The government had also ignored creating maximum job opportunities for the masses. Rehmat Ullah Javed said that every decision had its own positive and negative implications for industry and economy. It is high time the provinces made the most of the 18th amendment by proper utilization of their enhanced resources. He said that good governance was the main issue of Pakistan and Punjab was the only province having some good governance. He said that amendments were a part of the government and the process continued always, stressing the need to focus on economic issues. He opposed the withholding tax, supporting the imposition of agriculture income tax on landlords and big farmers.
Lawyer Rana Sajjad said that the country had also witnessed judicial instability after political instability. He said that the apex court verdict on the 18th amendment had not fixed the problem, rather the issue had been sent back to the Parliament, delaying the matter for further four months. He said that the apex court had given a balance decision to save the system. He was of the view that the SC decision had increased complications. He said that political certainty was crucial for economic development.
Lawyer Asim Hafeez said that the court verdict on 18th amendment did not have much impact on the economy. The lack of any proper economic policy was behind the deteriorating economic condition of the country, he said, adding that the apex court had maintained the supremacy of the Parliament. He said that the court, rather than taking any decision, had sent the matter back to the parliament for review. He said that, after the court decision, the government had an opportunity to improve its economic policy.