LAHORE - The business community has listed the energy deficit, inter-corporate circular debt, bleeding public sector enterprises, high fiscal deficit and low tax base as the biggest and most immediate challenges that warrant the attention of the incoming government.

They urged the policymakers to devise comprehensive strategies to fix these problems, insisting to swallow the bitter pill right now so that the positive effects of these measures can start reaping results.

They asked for experienced and competent persons to head important institutions that had been highly politicised and needed cleansing with good and honest officers.

Like the past government, the new government has also been callous towards power outages, they said.

APBF Chairman Nabeel Hashmi lamented that actions of the PML-N government not new and nothing is different of what was happening in past government of the PPP.

He said that only faces have been changed, federal secretaries have been reshuffled and no strategy or solid plan is seen for restructuring of the institutions.

“Discourteous, incompetent crew, repeated delays in flight schedules and absence of facilities to the travelers have turned Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) into a white elephant in true sense of the word and the PM should direct its restructuring to save it from total destruction.”

The APBF Chairman said that with a small number of fit-to-fly planes, the PIA would not be able to survive for a long if due attention was not given to solve governance issues.

He said that delays in flights take-off and arrivals, misbehavior with passengers and garbage everywhere and unhygienic food are some the features that are contributing to its downfall. He said that unfriendly attitude of the PIA concerned staff was one of the biggest reasons of heavy loss. He said that all over the world, airline companies give honor and respect to their customers but situation is quite different as far as Pakistan International Airline is concerned.

“Boards of various organisations are almost defunct and need to be restructured. For instance, postal department, overseas Pakistanis, labour, manpower, housing, works, sports, culture, youth affairs and several other organisations are taken out from the control of different ministries and made independent establishments,” he said. Elaborating, the business leader said the federal government must present a detailed economic policy outlining its key focus for the next five years and highlighting short, medium and long-term plans for the national economy along with the budget document.

There is a need to generate more power, curb line losses and power theft and act against those officers who show negligence in collection of electricity bills.

“The National Tariff Commission and the Engineering Development Board both need strategic interventions to bring them up to the mark. The Trade Development Authority needs to be made lighter and private sector involvement in policy and funds allocations is of urgent need,” Hashmi said.