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Agenda for survival and growth

The main cause of our pathetic politico-economic situation is existence of inefficient, corrupt, repressive and criminal governments/institutions, which do not give a damn for the welfare of the common people. We will have to move quickly and decisively to restore Pakistan’s undeniable geo-strategic and business competitive position in the region. There is an urgent need to take necessary and tough decisions to make Pakistan a respectable place to work, live and invest.

The following steps are inevitable if we want to make Pakistan a competitive place in today’s world:

  1. Establishment and continuance of democratic institutions both in form and substance, supremacy of parliament coupled with an independent judiciary.
  2. Revamping of entire education system and ensuring revolutionary measure to take society out of jahalat [ignorance]. Our problem is not only illiteracy but also ignorance. Even the so-called literates are jahil of worst order, as they do not demonstrate by their actions any norms of a civilized society. The foremost stress should be on Iqra [knowledge].
  3. Good governance and corrupt free government structures.
  4. Elimination of bigotry, religious intolerance and violence by taking concrete measures to ensure social development of society based on higher values of life and humanity.
  5. Devising long-term and short-term strategies to break the shackles of debt-trap.
  6. Determination and political will to control wasteful, non-developmental and defence expenditure.
  7. Strict laws and their effective implementation to curb money laundering, plundering of national wealth, political write off of bank loans and leakages in revenue collections.
  8. Reform of technical, institutional and organizational dimensions of public finance.
  9. Improvement in public sector effectiveness.
  10. Reform and strengthening of management of public finances.
  11. Transparent public sector spending.
  12. Efficient public sector performance.
  13. Revitalization of tax machinery, simplification of tax laws and procedures, reduction in excessive marginal tax rates making them compatible with other tax jurisdictions of the world, especially in Asia, elimination of GST/VAT on production, machinery and equipment and substantial reduction in corporate tax rates.
  14. Long-term policies removing stumbling blocks for new direct foreign investments.
  15.  Sufficient openness and accountability in the government to enable citizens to understand and participate fully in the process of national integration. This includes live telecast of the assembly proceedings.
  16. Complete transparency in government and private financial transactions.
  17. The juxtaposition of economic policymaking and political reform [democratization] of society is necessary.
  18. The agenda for reform and survival should entail a comprehensive, well-integrated and unified plan that alone can assure its success.
  19. The reform in one sector ignoring the ills in the other, resorting to improving something at the cost of leaving aside the one interlinked, will not yield desired results. The case of tax reform divorced to elimination of black economy is the point in focus.
  20. The main cause of fiscal deficit is existence of an unprecedented size of underground economy and the share of incompetence and inefficient tax machinery is significant, but reform in tax administration alone without routing the causes of parallel economy is not going to improve GDP-tax ratio.
  21. In the same manner mere constitutional changes giving more powers to a self-appointed President or elected Prime Minister will fail to improve the political culture unless respect for rule of law and democratic behaviour in practice is clearly demonstrated.  Elections alone are not an instrument to ensure democratization of society. These are a means to achieve the goal of true representation of the people in governance.  

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