The key focus of the government should be on evolving a new strategy to utilise indigenous resources and get rid of IMF loans to run the economy, said Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Muhammad Shakeel Munir.
In a statement on Friday, he underlined that tough conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) always pushed up prices of gas, electricity and petroleum products, slashed subsidies and tax exemptions, creating more difficulties for the business community and the general public.
Pakistan has gone to the IMF for 22 times since the country’s independence, which shows that successive governments failed to make the country stand on its own feet and not heavily depend on foreign loans to overcome its economic imbalances, said Munir.
“Frequent borrowings from the IMF have led to the pile-up of foreign debt, which is making the future of our generations bleaker, and time has come now that the rulers should seriously think about reducing the reliance on foreign loans,” he said.
Munir cited that the governments of many countries including Turkey, Bangladesh, India and others had got rid of the IMF by adopting prudent economic policies.
“It is high time that the new government work out a new strategy to utilise indigenous resources to run the economy.”
The ICCI president pointed out that the main reason for the fiscal deficit was the government spending more than generating revenues, which was not sustainable.
Economic and tax policies should be reviewed in a manner that they should be helpful in creating a conducive business environment to tap more domestic resources, said Munir.
He stressed that Pakistan should focus on reducing the high tax rates and expanding its tax base to increase tax revenue and tackle the fiscal deficit.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 7th, 2022.