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 said the government is taking serious steps to eradicate corruption. Corruption in every form is detrimental for the country but the most damaging is its presence in legislature and officials, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that corruption in the nobility adds to poverty make country dependent on IMF and other institutions for survival.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that government is taking steps against political elite involved in corrupt practices but it has not taken significant steps to discourage corruption in different departments.
Discretionary powers are also linked to bribery which must be reduced to help masses and encourage local and foreign investment, he said, adding that the strike by traders is part of the protest against discretionary powers.
The former minister noted that using fear as a tool to discourage corruption and non-compliance will not pay dividends therefore more should be done including allaying reservations of the trading community. Anyone who wants to establish a factory, build a plaza or home, import or exports something is confronted with hundreds of requirements by different departments, government officials and host of taxes which are sometimes enough to dishearten investors. This is a reason behind Pakistan’s dismal performance on ease of doing business index where it ranks 156th .
The culture of unnecessary NOCs, permits, approvals and certificates etc. which benefits officials more than the government should be changed to reduce the cost of doing business, he demanded. He said that automation is the most economical way to save time and money of masses, encourage business community, reduce corruption and promote an economy which is in tatters.