LAHORE - The decision of the Supreme Court in Panama case will give political and economic stability to the country at least in short term, ending the atmosphere of uncertainty and promoting business and industrial activities in the country.
Former finance minister Dr Salman Shah appreciated the Supreme Court larger bench’s much-awaited verdict in Panama case wherein the court ordered formation of a Joint Investigation Team to probe the money trail of Sharif family. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif along with Hassan and Hussain Nawaz would now have to appear before the JIT.
Shah said the apex court ruling would have a long-term and positive effect. It would establish the rule of law, control corruption and create an atmosphere of merit and justice, which, in the long run, would pave the way for foreign investment in the country. The JIT would report to the court after every two weeks and would complete the proceedings in 60 days.
“The decision is good for business and economic growth. After the Supreme Court’s ruling, FIA and NAB will have to work properly and under the supervision of the court, reporting to it on a weekly basis. The decision will help control corruption, particularly kickbacks, in development projects. Merit will prevail, which ultimately will encourage business and economic growth,” he said.
Saarc Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice president and FPCCI former president Iftikhar Malik said the SC decision had ended an environment of uncertainty and doubts in the country, which was a good omen for democracy, security and economy of Pakistan. He said that there should be no justification for a hue and cry after decision of the Apex Court in the Panama case and asked political parties to accept this decision and work together for progress and economic stability of the country. Malik, who is also chairman of the UBG, said that tension between opponents would have a very negative effect on investment, democratic process and economy of the country. He said this decision would have far reaching effects on all major sectors, including agriculture, economy, directly benefiting both the nation and the country.
LCCI President Abdul Basit urged all political parties to accept the decision of Panama case wholeheartedly and cooperate with the Joint Investigation Team to take the case to its logical conclusion. He said the SC verdict was based on justice and merit that would further strengthen the economic basis of the country.
He said the stock exchange would further improve with this important decision. He said the 540 pages detailed verdict of Supreme Court showed that nobody was above the law and all decisions were being made strictly on merit and evidence on record.
SBP former governor Shahid Kardar said the country was heading towards another crisis and whichever party comes to power after next polls of 2018, would have to negotiate with the IMF for a new loan programme due to bad governance and financial mismanagement. He said the cost of doing business in the country was very high, making the industry uncompetitive in the global market as compared to other regional markets. Explaining the reasons for a decline in exports, he said that high exchange rate, wrong tax structure and non-payment of GST refunds by the government were the main hurdles in export improvement. Panama case is irrelevant as the government performance before this case or even after is not better, and seems not to improve. This needs to be enhanced irrespective of Panama case decision.
He said that tax structure was burdening the productive sectors, pilling up the refunds, failing the country to compete globally. Criticising the tax structure, he said the system put burden on those who were already in the tax net. He condemned the economic managers boasting for their fake economic achievements.
PIAF Chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh asked the government to give time for completion of the projects, which were necessary for the economic growth. He said that CPEC was a golden opportunity for Pakistan's socio-economic development and all provinces could reap its fruits only when there is political stability in Pakistan.