Ziauddin University holds dialogue program
KARACHI: “Any economy is required to maintain foreign exchange reserves equal to at least 3 months of imports, and if it goes below that, it means the economy is at crisis point and unfortunately, Pakistan is very near to this danger. In last 2 years, we took 2 billion dollar loan from China only to maintain our reserves. It shows in future it would be very difficult for us to get loans from IMF. We would have to accept their hard economic and political conditions”, renowned economist Dr Kaiser Bengali was speaking on a dialogue program “Our Vision of Pakistan: Impediments to Development”, organized by Ziauddin University.
He pointed out that currently, Pakistani’s economy is facing two – gap crisis which is the biggest loss for our economy. We have more than US$ 100 billion foreign debt and this occurred because of dollar and rupee gap. In 1995 on every $100 there was a gap of Rs 125 and at present, we have import of 23 billion dollars and export is around 60 billion dollars.
Speaking to the audience, Dr. Kaiser Bengali said that in 2013 our total exports were about 3.5%, and in 2016 it decreased to only 12.2%. And the average percentage of our exports from year 2013 to 2016 is 11.7%. We observed a lot of decrease in exports during the year 2015 and 2016 which means our own industries are no more in working conditions. Whereas, our imports in 2013 were about 0.1%, and in 2016 it decreased to only 2.5%, and the average percentage from 2013 to 2016 is 2.4%.
“Our GST rate is 7% it should be only 5 %. Our Income deficit is 70 % higher than services deficit. We need to reduce 20% of Military expenditure to stop crisis in Pakistan. Extra ministries should be abolished. We don’t need foreign funding. We are blessed to have a country full of resources. We need to use those resources. We can bring unemployment to less than 5% and we can completely remove hunger and illiteracy from our country to zero % by using our own resources”, he further said.
Dr Asim Hussain, Chancellor, Ziauddin University expressed his surprise on annual imports of more than ten billion dollar food items and over $2 billion import of cosmetics raised a question if we are one nation why wasting such a huge amount on lavish living and increasing the debts through trade deficit every year.
In his address Dr Asim Hussain advised that we should take serious notice of the increasing foreign influence on our country and the nation as a whole.
He expressed his concern over the national failure in change of curricular in our educational institutions since last seven decades.
He stated that we should carefully study what is happening on geopolitical scene in this region and emergence of CPEC. There was no mention of Pak-Afghan borders since our independence and we were sticking with Durand Line. We had five different provinces, all with different cultures, languages etc. we did nothing for harmonizing these things while the change of capital was also not a step in correct direction. The onslaught of private housing schemes affected very badly and divided us in rich and poor. The lack of land reforms promoted poverty in our country while the neighboring country got benefitted from it.
National and international relations expert Dr Huma Baqai said that, we are afraid of asking right question. Culture of questioning is almost ended. We do not have any right to ask a question about armed forces and terrorist because we have feared in our hearts that if we will try to ask we will be called a perfidious or disloyal to our country. This shows our state is not strong enough to provide safety and security to common public.
“When you lose economic sovereignty, you lose all sovereignties it means your economy is on mortgage and unluckily we are at that stage, because our state is not ready to take any responsibility. State should be responsible, brave and strong. It should have guts to take strong decisions for the people of Pakistan and for betterment of our country”, says Dr Huma Baqai.
Earlier, Vice Chancellor, Ziauddin University, Dr. Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, welcomed all the panellists and appreciated the enormous number of young students to come and take part in the program.
He also encouraged the youth’s deep interest in the session and advised the students to always keep in mind that you all are future of Pakistan. Always be ready to serve humanity, speak truthfully and practice your profession without prejudice for religion, nationality, race, political or social standing.