KARACHI - A renowned economist Dr Shahid Hassan while discussing the bleak performance of national economy has said that one of the major reasons for deteriorating economy is low and declining rates of national savings. Siddiqui, in a detailed interview related to the national budget and the performance of national economy, said here Sunday that taking into account the rate of savings of emerging economies as percentage of GDP, Pakistan’s saving were considerably low. Pakistan saved about Rs5,000 billion less only in 2011-12 as compared to savings of these emerging countries. The reasons for poor rate of savings included not sharing of profit by banks on deposits secured on profit and loss sharing basis. While the SBP, whose responsibility is to safe-guard the interests of depositors, failed to discharge its duty, the Federal Shariat Court after receiving replies from SBP and about two dozen banks had stopped giving further dates of hearing on the petition filed by him three years ago. In his petition, he said he had raised the issues of not sharing the profit by banks on deposits secured on PLS basis and declaring SBP circular 29 of 2002 illegal. It is estimated that since 2001 banks have paid at least a sum of Rs1200 billion less than the amount that should have been paid by banks to millions of depositors, had banks paid at least the same real rate of return as was paid in 2001. The Supreme Court despite expiry of two and a half years has also not announced judgment about the legal status of BCD Circular 29 and writing off advances of borrowers, who had even committed frauds with the banks, he alleged.He also talked about financial NRO under which tax evaders who had looted money would be given amnesty. FBR chairman has on June 6, 2012, he said, had disclosed that Government would not ask questions about source of fund if the amount is investment in Industries upto June 30, 2015 and 2 % tax is paid on the disclosed amount by June 30, 2013. This was nothing, he alleged, but Financial NRO and amounts to giving amnesty to tax evaders and looted money notwithstanding that NRO has already been declared unlawful by Supreme Court. He recalled that prior to announcement of Budget on June 1, 2012, the government had allowed amnesty to tax evaded and plundered money provided the amounts are invested in Stock Exchange upto June 30, 2012. This was also a Financial NRO. It has never been a secret that huge amounts were earned through corruption and tax evasion by rulers, parliamentarians, traders, industrialists, exporters, feudal, stock exchange brokers & speculators and members of civil and military bureaucracy etc. some of these funds have already been transferred abroad, he alleged.These illicit funds were now being whitened before the elections by issuing ordinances offering amnesty. These unethical and illegal amnesty schemes are not only defeating the half-hearted moves of documentation of the economy including discouraging the honest tax payers but are also having serious negative impact on the economy. These must therefore, be declared illegal and of no effect as if they were never launched.He said Pakistan has already suffered a loss of about $22 billion only in 2011-12 due to War on Terror. The total losses sustained by Pakistan due to War on Terror are now $90 billion whereas US is reported to have paid a sum of about $19 billion or so to Pakistan after 9/11. It is surprising to note that the Chapter of Cost of War on Terror has been deleted from the Economic Survey issued on May 31, 2012, while in the last year’s Economic Survey a chapter was incorporated mentioning that losses due to War on Terror up to June 30, 2011 are $68 billion. He said it was high time that nation was taken into the confidence about the losses of War on Terror. These figures should also be repeatedly announced on the international forums so that the world understands the true magnitude of the miseries of 190 million of Pakistan due to the War on Terror.The economy of Pakistan is facing serious risk and challenges. The foreign exchange reserves are declining and Pakistan has to make payment of about $4 billion to IMF only in the current financial year. It is since last three and half years that I have been repeatedly saying that Pakistan would not be able to pay the amount to IMF in 2012 and would have to approach the IMF once again for fresh loans in 2012. These loans would only be sanctioned if US gives a nod to IMF as was done in 2008 when loan of $7.6 billion was sanctioned by the IMF. It is on record that Government of Pakistan repeatedly said that loan from IMF is being taken as the receipt of funds from Friends of Pakistan (FoDP) has been delayed but it is now being said that FOPG have not fulfilled their commitments. He termed these assertions as totally wrong adding that he had been saying for many years that FoDP have never committed to give cash to Pakistan and this fact was clearly stated by US and British Authorities in 2008, in 2009 and on subsequent occasion by German Ambassador to Pakistan. It must be understood that the US will recommend to IMF to give more loans to Pakistan only if the government of Pakistan agrees to accept US dictation on the War on Terror including operations in North Waziristan. For safe-guarding national interests, it is important that instead of requesting for fresh IMF loan, Pakistan should approach IMF for rescheduling the existing debt and seek help from China and oversees Pakistanis so that Pakistan can come out of the threat to its external sector.