Karachi: A senior economic expert say so-called war on terror costs Pakistan more than $130bn and in the known history no poor nation has ever given this much sacrifice for the richest nation of that time.
Renowned economist Dr. Shahid Hasan Siddiqui, Chairman, Institute of Islamic Banking of Finance said after the 9/11 Pakistan has lost 130 billion dollars in the so-called war on terror.
Speaking at a Distinguished Lecture Series of Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Karachi on “How to Reform the Economy of Pakistan”, he said Pakistan is blessed with both natural and human resources but its economy is in the wrong hands.
He termed 18th amendment and NFC Award as a ‘political drama’ which provided no major benefit to the provinces economically.
He said that only about one million people out of the population of 190 million pay taxes. Major taxation reforms are imperative to strengthen our economy. Upper and Middle Classes are not paying taxes and also become victims of it in the form of additional taxes, surcharges and GST.
Dr. Siddiqui added in that education has never remained a priority in any government in Pakistan. Education should become a priority for the betterment of the country. He suggested to abolish taxes on electricity, gas and water.
Dr Siddiqui said that we can easily fulfil our energy needs by properly utilizing coal and water resources. China is contributing in almost every sector of Pakistan and is our closest friend. He highly suggested the increase of education budget up to seven percent of GDP.
In his concluding remarks, Prof. Dr. Moonis Ahmar, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences said that in order to change the economic conditions of our country, we first needs to change our mindset with adequate political will and determination. According to him, it is unfortunate that despite 67 years of independence, 40% of the population of Pakistan is living below poverty line and we are unable to transform this country as a welfare state. In order to reform the economy of Pakistan we need to be above contradictions; pay taxes regularly. If our rulers abolish VVIP culture, the economy of Pakistan may proceed in the right direction.