05 November, 2012
By Syed Nayyar Uddin Ahmad
Now our economic malaise has reached such a stage that business as usual, is going to jeopardise our statehood, not in years, but in months.
The degree of the sovereignty of a country, is directly proportional to the state of the economy of that nation. Actually, in constant growth & development lies our salvation. Secondly, we Pakistanis must know, that without any doubt, the easiest and surest way of moving ahead, is to stand on our own feet.
Foreign aid, can keep us afloat, but won't allow us to swim.
Now, the time has come to separate the growth, development, education, eradication of poverty & security of Pakistan, from the politics, forever.
It has been a good political tactics in the past by all and sundry, particularly at the helm of the affairs, to divert the attention of the masses, from the real issues, by mudslinging on politicians, civil and military servants, judges etc. etc. However, now we must put a full stop to this non-sense, which has wasted the entire life of Pakistan.
Nothing can match the benefits of the collective wisdom.
Since, it's a matter of impending economic collapse of the country, for which almost all of us are responsible in one way or the other, almost no one is exempt from the charge of hurting the cause of the country; we should decide to look forward and forgive and forget each other's sins of the past, and take each and every segment and political force of the society in confidence, for a very transparent scheme of our future development.
Let us build a new economically strong and politically stable Pakistan, by our collective wise decisions; knowing very well that no political party, group or institution is so strong, to run this country single handedly for a sustainable period, without the help and cooperation of eachother. We must also realise that our personal safety and better future lies in accommodating and cooperating with eachother, with the sole aim of building a STRONG Pakistan, under the slogan "Re-born Pakistan".
In this regard, it is suggested that, we should AIM to bring Pakistan, to the level of Singapore of 2010, by the year 2030. All politics & other considerations should be made subservient to this TARGET for 2030, even if we have to abolish weekly holidays for the next 20 years & reduce our daily sleeping time to 6 hours.
All stake holders, particularly, from the deprived sections of the society in Pakistan, must immediately come forward, for deciding about the direction of the future of the nation.
Biggest factor in any victory is self-confidence. Anti-thesis of terrorism is education, coupled with economic emancipation.
As such, the nation must embark upon the following agenda, to resurrect our economy without any further loss of time.
1. Request to all foreign donors for a 5 years moratorium, on all debt repayments by Pakistan, which is a frontline state of the world's war on terror (WOT). Here don't forget that the world powers have totally written off loans of many countries, for much less cooperation than Pakistan, which is practically fighting their war for more than a decade.
2. 20% per annum reduction in all non-developmental government expenditures, plus total freeze in all perks paid from the national exchequer, involving foreign currency.
3. Maximum tax rate on each and every type of income in Pakistan should be fixed at 10%. This will not only bring huge revenues to the government, but will also discourage the tax evasion tendencies.
4. Increase in productivity & exports with liberal tax relief to industry, commerce & trade.
5. Set a target for 20% per annum increase in foreign remittances, by offering innovative incentives to expatriate Pakistanis.
6. Abolish FBR (which will alone increase income by Rs.500 billion) & IMPOSE FLAT 10% tax (already being applied on dividend payments etc) on ALL & EVERY TYPE OF INCOME (as already mentioned at 3. above), without any exemption (except for the security forces personnel, whose salaries may be doubled with expected receipt of un-precedented increase in revenue, due to this formula). This will not only reduce income tax burden on salaried class (with max. tax rate of 10% here, don't forget consultants are ONLY paying 6% tax) but will also result in much increase in revenues, to the extent that government will not require any tax imposition in the budget. Plus, the government will be able to give tax free salaries to all the armed forces, rangers, police and other security agencies personnel, who are shedding their blood, in fighting the menace of terrorism, for our and our children's safe TOMORROW.
7. Pakistan's Foreign policy is excellent in theory, perhaps the best in the world. However, this policy should be implemented in its true letter and spirit with core emphasis on PEACE particularly with its neighbours; and FP thrust and theme should be that any and every action must result in the economic benefit of the country.
8. Initiate steps (by imposing economic emergency) to bring each and every economic activity under document.
I am more than confident that by the dint of sheer hard work, sincerity & honesty, which is imbibed in the bones of the Pakistani work force, we can surely bring Pakistan, into the comity of 20 developed nations of the world, in the next 15-20 years.
9. The leaders of Pakistan holding the destiny of this great nation, with highest manpower potential and material resources in the world, must remember the following two adages.
a. NOT FAILURE BUT SETTING LOW AIM IS A CRIME.
b. IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THE IMPOSSIBLE IT IS PRECISELY THE UNTHINKABLE WHICH MUST BE THOUGHT.
Please suggest any suggestions in the following "Comment Section" sections for the improvement of the economics of Pakistan.