Using dead capital to generate revenue

October 5, 2018

Terming as dead capital the land used for government residences and other state buildings, Imran Khan’s suggestion to generate income from them instead of resorting to foreign aid is a good idea.  It is heartening to know that the government is planning for the future. The first and foremost step should be to retrieve any land of the government occupied by anyone who is not entitled to the same. Proper laws created and followed could help in this instance. We hope the economic council has given advice to PM in good faith. Selling government land and assets to fix current imbalance appears to be a good idea, we will get the money and use it to payoff interest. The government had better let private sector to set up factories on it and make that land productive. That will create permanent source of income and create jobs. Many seem skeptical about every move of the government knowing that the country’s history is littered with examples when resources gathered in the name of austerity and debt servicing were gathered and later on thrown away. It is appreciable that the government is working on improving the things. But it should also make sure that this land benefits the needy poor people and does not increase the wealth of rich billionaires of Pakistan. Land valuation doesn’t mean by default it will be purchased at the same price as its rate continues to change with the passage of time. It would be much better if these lands can be given on lease to earn money. Won’t it be a healthier step than getting loans from abroad? We appreciate the government’s thinking. Yes there are assets that can and should be monetized. But we must not sell off national assets to outsiders to meet short term needs and be saddled in the long term with Sri Lanka kind of situation where a foreign country now owns part of Sri Lanka. If the suggestion is about leasing out the land, then income can be generated. Priority wise, the dead capital cannot be smuggled out. The urgent need is to generate cash to be able to fill in the deficit gaps in foreign exchange reserves. The government should do first things first. Acceleration of our industrial production is a must. To step up exports of Pakistani products we have to be competitive cost wise, quality wise and marketing efficiency wise. We need water, power, and energy for our demoralized industries. We must remove the trust deficit to encourage investors from within and without. We must accelerate tax recovery from the tax evaders by giving targets to the officials in the FBR.

Government must broaden the tax net and accelerate tax recovery from the tax evaders

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