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How to make the economy better

The federal government has decided to slash the petrol quota of government officials and the cabinet by 40%. The power ministry has recommended instituting work-from-home policies in offices on Fridays to reduce the demand for fuel and energy. In my view, it’s time to leave or abandon our luxury living on state expenses to play some meaningful role in evolving our economy.
The above steps taken by the government could be considered secondary steps and may not be so helpful in evolving our deteriorating economy. For primary steps to evolve our economy with strong determination and a practical approach in the right direction, we must consider the following steps:
1) In government offices, there must be a complete ban on the use of inverters/Air conditioners except at the highest levels including Minister and Secretary offices.
2) The government must make a mechanism for petrol stations to ensure the sale of fuel with the entry of the registration # of vehicle/bike on the fuel receipts for the purpose of FBR data. There must be a check for above 300 litres monthly use for private consumers for the purpose of income tax and filer status.
3) The government must not develop and make any allotment of houses, flats & plots exceeding 10 Marlas on an ownership basis in any state housing society drawing funds from the National Exchequer. The house/flats/plots size must be of 3 marlas, 5 marlas, 8 marlas and 10 marlas to accommodate all ranks or classes of officials.
4) There must be additional taxes on houses/flats exceeding 10 marlas and electricity units used over 800 units in a month. We must focus seriously on expanding our exports and reducing the level of imports. The vehicles import of new vehicles must be banned to control our foreign exchange reserves. All imports must be banned that could be produced in Pakistan with quality assurance and reasonable pricing.
5) All religious tours of state heads, cabinet members and officials must be on a self-financing basis.
6) We must develop our rural areas as much as possible to generate income sources for rural residents.
7) Taxpayers’ money must be equally utilized by all classes of people living in Pakistan. We should not see much difference in state-run hospitals, schools and power/water supply in the city area and in remote areas.
8) There must be a strong check on public funds use and any misappropriation of funds must not be tolerated and rule of law must prevail at all levels without any procedural delays.
9) There is a need for additional dams to overcome the energy crises due to increasing population needs. The state policymakers must seriously think about the increasing population issue as it may adversely affect our national resources in the coming years.
10) Our state departments’ resources will continue to face budget issues if we do not control theft in water distribution. Sui gas connections, electricity use and bribery are left open for all. All purchases of single items exceeding above 50 thousand rupees must be linked with CNIC/Passport # and the sale data record must be linked to FBR Data.
11) In the present world, no developing country can improve the economy without foreign investment and especially of direct nature investment and for this purpose, we need a business favourable environment in Pakistan. For a favourable business environment, we have to first control our law and order situation, which may not be so appealing to foreign investors. There is also a need to encourage local investors to invest in the local industry.
12) We must expand our relations with other countries and more specifically with neighbouring countries for mutual interests without compromising our identity as a Muslim country. The above steps will help to evolve our economy.
KHALID MUSTAFA
ISLAMABAD

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