ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) President Mian Zahid Hussain has said too much concessions offered to the foreign investors is harmful as it damages the economy and hit common man.

The unnecessary obsession of the government with the foreign investment continues to dishearten the local investors who start preferring other countries for investment over their own, he said. Hussain said that continued flight of capital reduces chances of balanced foreign investment while sovereign guarantees and guaranteed rate of high returns add to the problems of the consumers. Many foreign investors are getting handsome returns in Pakistan that they can never get anywhere else in the world; therefore, such investments cannot be called real foreign investment.

Due to the high rate of return, the electricity has become very expensive in the country, resulting in high cost of doing business, reduced competitiveness and falling exports. Many foreigners get their full return on their investment in the first or second year, which has motivated many local investors and overseas Pakistanis to approach government in the guise of a foreign investor.

The business leader said that practice of sovereign guarantees should be stopped or approved through the National Assembly if necessary as non-payment defames country.

Relaxations should be offered to the investors setting up export industry while those who set up businesses for local consumption should not be given any incentives, he suggested. Foreign investors should not be preferred over local investors in the national interest, he demanded.