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August 10, 2018

‘Unpopular decisions needed to rectify system’


August 10, 2018

LAHORE: There is a need of making an institution to monitor FBR and other institutions for developing financial discipline and eradicating corruption while the ball is now in the court of Prime Minister-elect Imran Khan that what type of short and long-term policies will be announced.

These views were expressed by the experts in Jang Economic Session on ‘how the new government will ensure financial discipline’. The panellists were Zeeshan Khalil, Ch Liaquat Ali, Imran Afzal, Javeria Qais, Dr Yasir Mehmood and Mian Fazal Ahmed. The session was hosted by Sikandar Lodhi.

Zeeshan Khalil said the new government should reduce non productive expenditures and make unpopular decisions for industrial development, especially discourage expensive raw materials and luxurious items import. He said new government would have to work hard to come up to the public expectations. Effective economic agenda is the need of the hour and increasing tax burden on salaried class is not a solution rather to implement justified taxation system, he said.

Ch Liaquat Ali said that non productive expenditures could be controlled by monitoring income and spending balance sheet. He said resources were abused in the past successive governments and corruption was increased by ignoring rules and procedures which need to be discouraged now. He called for focusing on human development, ensuring basic civic facilities to produce quality human resources. Besides, anti-corruption institutions were not performing up to the mark which needed to be checked.

Imran Afzal said from top to bottom everyone was corrupt by varying level of corruption so the government and public official could not be blamed for it. He said every individual should realise responsibility and carry out self-accountability to cleanse the system. He said unpopular decisions were required to correct the system besides promoting honesty. He said politics had become a business and investors on election campaign wanted to get double return. He demanded strong legislation to counter this trend for societal reforms.

Javeria Qais said there was a need to change the public approach to streamline the system and every individual start it from itself. Initially, it’s a difficult task but it will benefit the next generation, she said, adding the new government will face critical financial management challenges for which serious economic measures are needed to be taken. She said effective planning was crucial to resolve internal and external matters. She suggested promoting the public-private partnership for job creation for youths besides making public sector enterprises profitable along with reducing tax burden on the poor and increasing taxes on the elite.

Dr Yasir Mehmood said that public should remain hopeful with the new government while there is no resort, except to approach the IMF for another programme due to failed policies of the past government. He suggested avoiding political slogans and stressed on taking practical steps for it. He said the new government should focus on balance of payment and stabilise the rupee. Appointment on merit is important for transparent system besides civil services reforms and make the bureau of statistics an independent institution, he added.

Mian Fazal Ahmed said current poor economic situation could adversely affect the CPEC projects and to handle it strict financial discipline and economic policies would be required. He said that the new government should evolve a plan with consensus and suspend unnecessary imports and issue investment bonds with the support of overseas Pakistanis. He suggested taking experts on board to increase exports and economic growth should not be made with gimmick of numbers.

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