The ‘right’ policy: Govt has no business being in business, says PM

Published: March 7, 2014
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. PHOTO: AFP

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. PHOTO: AFP


Making ground for the privatisation of state-owned entities, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reiterated his earlier stance that the “government has no business being in business” and can only act as a facilitator for entrepreneurs.

“The government can only assist businessmen by removing hurdles that place them at a disadvantage over competitors,” said the premier on Thursday.

He was speaking at the Pakistan Auto Show 2014, organised by the Pakistan Association of Auto Parts and Accessories Manufacturers at Expo Centre, Lahore.

PM Nawaz said he believed January 2, 1972 to be the worst day in the history of Pakistan’s economy when 32 industries were nationalised. “Nationalisation destroyed the profit-making entities within days,” he maintained.

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Nawaz added that before nationalisation, the economy was growing at a rapid pace; Pakistan was far ahead than other regional countries and proved to be a role model for them. “Economic gurus of the region were following Pakistan’s footprints but after that day, our industry collapsed and is still struggling,” he added.

Regarding the issues of certain flawed SROs, used cars and the auto development policy, he said all of them will be resolved on a fast-track basis.

“I have asked the commerce minister to take all the stakeholders into confidence and resolve the hurdles in the growth of the auto industry in the shortest possible time”.

He said these issues cannot be resolved by exchanging letters or notes. “You have to sit down with the commerce and finance ministers for a prudent solution.”

PM Nawaz said the government has set a target of tripling exports in the next five years.  He further highlighted the problems faced by the economy and thanked the Chinese government and businessmen for their support.

During most part of his speech, Nawaz dilated on the challenges faced by the country, which, he said, his government is fully committed to address. He assured that issues regarding terrorism, creditability of the state, the energy crisis and governance would soon be resolved.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 7th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • shah
    Mar 7, 2014 - 10:48AM

    Have to agree with Mr Sharif here. Pakistani national industries are failures and a huge burden on the exchequer.


  • Modified
    Mar 7, 2014 - 11:58AM

    I agree 100% Nawaz.


  • Parvez
    Mar 7, 2014 - 12:15PM

    Correctly said that governments should not be in the business of running businesses. Conversely, big business that sits in government and use their position for personal benefit must also stopRecommend

  • The Economist
    Mar 7, 2014 - 12:18PM

    Did he copy the speech of Narendra Modi?


  • Imran
    Mar 7, 2014 - 12:56PM

    yes we know government job is to run buses


  • East View
    Mar 7, 2014 - 1:03PM

    Privatization helps the country prosper and ensures minimum corruption at least at low level (giving common man relief and creating more jobs) Government should only be maintaining Law & Order while improving foreign relations and trade.


  • Uza Syed
    Mar 7, 2014 - 1:06PM

    Yes, governments should not have any business to be in business, however, politicians, especially those who are in public offices right from the Prime Minister & Chief Minister Sharifs down to others should be also banned from being in any trades and business to avoid semblance of conflict of interests both real and perceived like it is presently done here.


  • Anti-Imperialists
    Mar 7, 2014 - 1:13PM

    nawaz is biggest neoliberalist in Pakistan after zia-ul-haq, imperialism penetrates in nations through privatization of state owned enterprises/institutions/industry. Privatization concentrate wealth to few hands, then imperialists use these elites like nawaz for their own regional and geo political interests.


  • Crazy Canuck
    Mar 7, 2014 - 1:17PM

    Oh the beautiful irony of this statement.


  • Anon
    Mar 7, 2014 - 1:23PM

    Yes, government has no business being in business…. thats a job for the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister Punjab and their entire cabinets…..


  • Aisha
    Mar 7, 2014 - 2:03PM

    @the economist
    Nawaz sharif has been saying this for decades. He began the privatization policy in the 1990. I think modi copied it from sharif. Recommend

  • unbelievable
    Mar 7, 2014 - 8:48PM

    Govt should be in the business of providing defense and basic infrastructure – perhaps trying to run airlines, steel mills, and other things have distracted them from doing a good/decent job in providing the basics?


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