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Business community facing forced contributions for elections

Islamabad:The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday asked the Political parties and contesting candidates to refrain from harassing business community in the name of donations for election campaign.

Business community in various parts of the country is facing unusual and undue pressure for political contributions by some parties which is illegal and immoral, it said.

Pakistani business community is already facing issues like energy shortages, absence of enabling environment, harassment by tax officials, kidnapping, extortion, etc. and now they are being forced to pay donations political campaigns, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.He said that after government the political parties are trying best to make trade and investment climate unfriendly for the businessmen who were already facing serious issues.

Businessmen have been asking that is this the reward they are getting for keeping the country’s economy moving.Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that majority of the businessmen had to agree to the demands to finance party campaigns otherwise they face the wrath of the party workers as well as that of administration. Repression has forced many side-lined businessmen to seek refuge in other countries which is main reason behind shifting of industrial units and flight of capital from the country.

The investment climate in Pakistan is barring foreign investment and forcing many foreigners to pull out their money from this risky market, he said. Economic revival is not linked to political speeches on different forums, it can only be attained after infusing confidence in the business community, Dr. Murtaza Mughal observed.
He said that courts and Election Commission should take note of the violation of laws and consider making it mandatory for political parties to disclose the donated amount and its source.

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