Karachi - Pakistan is blessed with both natural and human resources but its economy is in the wrong hands. After 9/11 Pakistan has lost 130 billion dollars in the so-called war on terror.

These views were expressed by renowned economist Dr Shahid Hasan Siddiqui, chairman of Institute of Islamic Banking of Finance, Karachi at the Distinguished Lecture Series, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Karachi in the seminar on “How to reform the economy of pakistan?”

Terming 18th amendment and NFC Award as a political drama, he said that it has not provided any major benefits to the provinces on economical basis. Only around 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, he added.

Dr Shahid Saddiqui further said 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 abolishing taxes on electricity, gas and water. He said that we can easily fulfill 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.

Prof Dr Moonis Ahmar, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, said that in order to change the economic conditions of our country, we first need 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.

The seminar was followed by a lively question-answer session. In the end, Prof Dr Moonis Ahmar presented shield to the guest speaker.