Editorial

Economy’s turnaround?

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abassi, while inaugurating the second LNG terminal claimed that the economy has been turned around and today the gross domestic product GDP is vibrant at 5.3 percent. He hoped to sustain it and take it up to 6 percent in the next year. He said power shortages have been addressed with the import of LNG and work is going on several power projects to overcome the shortage of electricity in shortest possible time. The Prime Minister told that work on 1360 megawatts coal power project is near completion.

After the recent two reports of World Bank and International Monetary Fund, exposing the extremely bleak picture of Pakistan’s economy, the government makes claims of economic progress but does not support them with empirical data like the reports of multilateral donor agencies which support the grim scenario our economy with facts and figures. The World Bank and International Monetary Fund reports are also corroborated by independent economists like Shahid Hassan Siddique, Akmal Hussain and Hafiz Pasha but they also complain as why these international lending agencies kept mum when Pakistan’s Economy was mismanaged and run largely by high interest bearing commercial loans.

Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf sit-in the D- Chowk of Islamabad for 126 days has made the neutral common man an economist. He fully understands the illusion of economic growth figures computed only on the data of public expenditure and totally discarding the public income method. The World Bank Report indicates that development funds of Rs. 250 billion doled out to PML-N members of parliament and election 2018 expenses would be reflected in the computation of economic growth.

The true picture of the economy is that it faces Fiscal imbalances and challenges of external payments. A bail out package of $ 31 billion will be needed to meet the external Obligations. The Development funds given to the parliamentarians are misappropriated and it will further exacerbate the economic situation. The turn around of economy can be achieved only when the tax base is broadened by taxing the rich, non productive expenditure is controlled, and corruption is wiped out. The people will not accept the claim of economic progress until their lot is improved in terms of poverty alleviation, employment, better and inexpensive education along with maximum health coverage.

 

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The Frontier Post

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