Bridging the Wealth Gap: Urgent Call for Economic Equality in Pakistan

KARACHI: Mian Zahid Hussain, the Chairman of the National Business Group Pakistan, President of the Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and key figure in the All Karachi Industrial Alliance, sounded the alarm on the widening chasm between the haves and the have-nots in Pakistan.

The Urgency of Economic Equality

Expressing his concern, Mian Zahid emphasized the pressing need for the newly elected government to prioritize economic equality. In his view, without a fair economic structure, the nation’s future hangs in the balance. He stressed that the government emerging from the elections should make bridging the wealth gap a central focus, aligning with global efforts to address this critical issue.

A Global Perspective

Drawing parallels with the rest of the world, Mian Zahid underscored that Pakistan is not immune to the escalating divide between the affluent and the struggling. Addressing the business community, he emphasized that fostering a just economic system is imperative at this juncture, as the growing disparity is not only impacting the economy but also fracturing the social fabric.

Capitalist Dominance and Economic Inequality

Highlighting a global trend, the seasoned business leader pointed out that, in many nations, capitalists wield substantial influence over economies. This dominance has led to a staggering increase in their wealth, while the general populace experiences a decline in prosperity. Hussain voiced his concern about the concentration of wealth in the hands of a privileged few, cautioning that unchecked, this trend could jeopardize world peace.

Pandemic Fallout: Economic Disparities Exposed

Discussing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mian Zahid noted that many countries, under the guise of public welfare, favored the affluent class. While some nations curtailed excessive currency printing post-pandemic, Pakistan faced challenges like currency devaluation, fiscal deficit, and current account deficit, causing inflation to soar.

Alarming Wealth Disparities

Mian Zahid Hussain expressed astonishment at the annual surge of over 100 percent in the wealth of some of the world’s richest individuals. This, he argued, exposes the flaws in the current economic system. Presently, half of the global population owns a mere two percent of resources, while multinational corporations enjoy average annual profits of 52 percent over the past three years.

Varying Approaches to Wealth Distribution

Noting differences in wealth distribution policies, Hussain highlighted that in some countries, there are restrictions on enriching the wealthy at the expense of the masses, while in others, such practices are the norm.

Economic Reform: A Call to Action

To rectify these imbalances, Mian Zahid proposed a comprehensive approach. He argued for the collection of full taxes from influential companies, limiting the corporate sector’s power, and preventing the exploitation of the workforce. Emphasizing the importance of people’s welfare, he advocated for setting profit limits to curb unrestrained profiteering.

Consequences of Inaction

In a stark warning, Mian Zahid predicted dire consequences if economic inequalities persist. He cautioned that societal frustration could lead to serious repercussions, with the affluent facing the wrath of the masses. Urgent and decisive action, he concluded, is imperative to secure a more equitable and stable future for Pakistan.

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