LAHORE The speakers at a debate session held at Hameed Nizami Hall here on Monday stressed the need to reduce the running expenditure of the state and the size of Federal Cabinet to lessen burden on the national exchequer. They were of the view that direct taxes instead of Value Added Tax (VAT) might be imposed as VAT would increase inflation. They said that steps should be taken to bring industrial revolution as it was vital to save economy of Pakistan. The speakers including former Finance Minister of Punjab Sardar Hussain Bahadur Draishak, former Chairman Public Accounts Committee Punjab S A Hameed, Engineer Saleem Ullah Khan, President Tehrik-e-Insaaf Punjab Ahsan Rasheed shared these views while speaking on the subject of Who is responsible for declining condition of the economy and how to tackle it? at Hameed Nizami Hall, Nawa-i-Waqt building. Sardar Hussain Draishak said the country was facing anarchy because of intolerance in the society. He said bribery was not the only corruption but favouritism was another aspect of dishonesty, which was not allowing things to be dealt with on merit. Hence, it is destroying our economy. The politicians and the masses were equally responsible for declining situation of the economy, he added. He urged the nation to adopt collective national thinking for development of the country as everything they own is because of Pakistan. S A Hameed said the policies of the Musharraf era were being continued by the current government. He said unemployment graph has increased from 5.6 per cent to 15.20 per cent during last two years, which was an example of poor governance. He further said foreign investors were avoiding investing in Pakistan because of energy crisis, unemployment and war on terror. S A Hameed suggested to enforce income tax instead of VAT and also to decrease non-development expenditure to boost the economy. He suggested privatising PIA and Railway if they continuously remained in deficit and a burden on national exchequer. Leader of Jamiat Ulma-e-Pakistan Engineer Saleem Ullah Khan said big difference between revenue and expenditure was the real reason behind declining condition of our economy while business deficit was another big factor. He said that our politicians were not able to understand the economic jargon of IMF so it used them in its own interests and dictated its policies. He further said that America did not want to see Pakistan economically independent. Saleem Ullha Khan suggested the government should stop taking interest-based loans, which was the only way to counter the downfall of economy. Ahsan Rasheed rejected VAT saying that it will bring a new flood of inflation, unbearable for the masses. He said the countrys economy was based on agriculture while the government was ignoring this sector. Criticising Benazir Income Support Programme of the government he said the masses wanted employment while the government was developing habit of begging among the public by this programme. Ahsan Rasheed stressed the need to develop education and health sector to facilitate the masses who were the real asset of the country.