KARACHI   -  President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Al­liance (AKIA), senior vice chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said productive sector should get top priority in the upcoming budget.

The key to increased exports, revenue generation and job cre­ation lies with the productive sec­tors which should be promoted to make country self-reliant, he said.

The veteran business leader said that the direction of the economy is not right while capi­tal continues to flow towards speculation and services sectors because of good profits and less trouble while the industrial sec­tor continues to suffer.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that country cannot end its depen­dence on loans unless the indus­trial sector becomes the most profitable sector for which policy intervention is necessary.

He noted that running industry has become so difficult that many industrialists have found refuge in speculation and trading.

The former minister said that ambassadors of the countries which have inked trade deals with Pakistan have complained that Pakistani investors are not interested in setting up industry and they prefer trading over ev­erything else. He said that impos­ing regulatory duties on imports has helped a lot to reduce deficit but it has also reduced revenue by Rs400 billion.

The business leader also called for reducing cost of doing busi­ness for the industrial sector oth­erwise production will become difficult which will invite more multinationals in Pakistan.

Industrialists should get relief as the price of energy, taxes, du­ties and raw material are bar­ring their development while the government should take invest­ments by locals as seriously as foreign investment.