The paralyzed & derailed

The paralyzed & derailed economy of Pakistan

Asmatullah Khan

Today Pakistan is not only facing serious socio –economic issues and the challenges of growing unemployment and poverty but the International conspiracies against the sovereignty and stability of Pakistan is also at its peak. The agenda of the involved countries is to sabotage the socio –economic integrity of this great country in all respect. Therefore, the public and the political government of Pakistan is required to be much more vigilant, united, careful and stable in all its socio- economic and human development policies.

The recently announced death sentences and imprisonment to the Senior Army Officers is certainly a good proof of all such international intriguing and conspiracies against Pakistan. In addition, attacks on army convoys in various parts of Pakistan at the close boundaries with Afghanistan, Iran and India’s are well exposed proofs of international conspiracies against this great Muslim Country of the Muslim World. Therefore, all the political parties and the ruling party in particular, are required to realize the sensitivity of the situation and discourage sabotaging activities of the planted enemies.

It is certainly a matter of great concern that since almost last 10 months, the Socio -Economic position of Pakistan is deteriorating day by day and the life of the poor and middle income groups is getting worse, miserable and hard with each passing day.

A very lamentable issue is that there seems neither any sign of improvement in the economy of Pakistan in the near future nor seems any hope for betterment in the life style of the common people of Pakistan. Because the country is now fully running under the prescription and command of the International Monetary Funds (IMF) and World Bank, and both these International Agencies are running under the command and control of the Jews, Indian and U.S lobbies.

They very successfully appointed their own team members to run the economic affairs of this country under their own mission, strategies and control. The present government has shown their incapacity and inability to get hold over the deteriorating economy and to bring any improvement in the life style of the common people of Pakistan.

Their only mission is to keep the economy of this country paralyzed and make it parasite forever on the World Bank and IMF assistance. The neoliberal policies tied to economic aid of the IMF have forced poor countries to open their economies and resources to exploitation by multinational corporations. Almost, for every one dollar received by the developing countries in aid, 24 dollars are flowing out from them to Western Countries.

In Pakistan, the IMF’s policies have followed the trajectory predicted by Dr. AkmalHussain in his critical commentary in the late 1980 and 1990. He has very rightly pointed out that the forced removal of subsidies from industries and agriculture would lead to de-industrialization, deficits in balance of trade, and balance of payments and poverty and unemployment will tremendously increase.

It will further adversely affect purchasing power, saving propensity of the consumers, and capital formation in the country, hence reduction in development spending would be having adverse injurious consequences for social indicators such as health and education. However in conclusion, we should not forget that the rules of the IMF game are rigged against the people of Pakistan. In the given circumstances, if the people decide to fight against a logic that undermines their social and physical existence, they will certainly be on the right side of history, irrespective of the supposed laws of the economy. 

The present growing double digit inflationary spiral, the declining purchasing power, the growing poverty, the increasing unemployment of the youth, the everyday increase in the utility bills and petroleum products, the luxurious life style of the ruling party, closures of industrial activities due to ill planning policies, the unfavorable balance of trade and balance of payments, the growing debts burden, the deteriorating peace due to every day protests, foreign conspiracies and interventions, and the imported team/ experts for various institutions and departments including State Bank of Pakistan, Planning Commission, and FBR have further made the economy of the country at the verge of collapse.

Their superficial and unpaged policies and strategies have pushed the economy into a more debilitating and deteriorating position. Consequently, today industries, agriculture, human development, mining, trade and stability of currency is at its worse position in the history. Perhaps, using our own team of economist and policy makers, the existing gap would have been bridged, but the present government raised its dependability upon its foreign masters, which is certainly not fair.

The announced socio –economic policies of the present government including higher utility bills, enhanced taxation, higher rate of GST, extension in the retiring age from 60 years to 63 years, discrimination in professional taxes and exemption for lawyers, and discriminative trading like cheap provision of salt to India, has further pushed the capitalist class, the investors and the industrialist to keep their investment in abroad.

They are sending their capital for investment purposes in the Middle East and Western countries due to wrong economic policies of the government. Daily millions of US Dollars are flying away from this country and all the rich and wealthy people are purchasing properties in the Middle East and Western Countries for investment purposes. In addition, brain drain is also at its peak and Pakistan is losing its human capital very rapidly.

Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that our higher education, particularly in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s universities is at its worse position, due to wrong policies of the present government.

Though, the higher education in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa remained at 1st position amongst most of the developing countries. But due to malafied policies of the PTI government and recruitment of the Vice Chancellors from Punjab in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s universities have totally devastated academics of the province.

Today almost most of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Universities are at the verge of academic collapse and they have almost lost their academic superiority in the world community. The influx of the Vice Chancellors from the Punjab Province in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Universities and this crucial and biased policy of the present government further devastated human development in the said Province.

Currently, the foreign total payable debt is almost of $. 99.31 billion, which is certainly a huge unbearable burden over the current weak economy of Pakistan. Recently, the government of Pakistan has taken $. 13.97 billion, from countries like China, Saudi Arabia and UAE etc., on quite high interest rates. The annual growth rate has fallen to 3.4% in 2018, and according to the World Bank estimations, in 2020, it will further fall to 2.7 percent. All this shows that the economy is quite in a deteriorating shape. But the recent agreement with the IMF on very tough conditionality’s for further loan will certainly further deteriorate economic conditions of the country and will certainly paralyze the socio –economic condition of the country. Currently almost 800 million people are living below the poverty line in extremely miserable circumstances.

The present government has not yet made appropriate changes in the previous economic policies, comprising acquisition of high interest bearing commercial foreign and domestic loans. Irrational increase in the prices of energy inputs and tariffs on electricity has further been increased, which is adversely affecting productivity and commercial activities. Gas tariff has been increased almost by 142% per “MMBTU”. The recent cumulative increase of about Rs. 8% per liter in the prices of Petroleum products is another unjustified remedy. All these cost increasing factors are certainly adversely effecting human development and socio –economic affairs in the country. The fiscal measures of the past 10 months of the present government have certainly resulted in a sharp rise in the current prevailing inflation by almost 10 percent. It will certainly push almost more than 5.5 million people below the poverty line and 3.5 million people will further be made jobless. Therefore, if the ill-conceived and highly regressive fiscal measures remained continued in the current financial year, then certainly double digit inflation will further engulf the socio –economic structure of the country and not only productivity from various economic sectors will be adversely affected but unemployment will further grow to a very high level.

Therefore, combined effect of the high rate of inflation and slow down of economic growth to almost 5% will certainly result in the long term stagflation, which will further increase poverty level to a very worse state of affairs. Looking and analyzing the current socio –economic and fiscal situation of the country, without taking a few drastic measures, the economic rehabilitation of the country seems not possible. Therefore as an immediate step on priority basis, the following measures needs to be taken honestly with an iron hand without any political victimization and grievances.

It is therefore essential to devise more practicable solution and pay attention to mobilize and strengthen our own resources to raise export, generate employment, and encourage investors to invest in the field of Industry, Agriculture, Human Development and Resource Generation by using our own expertise instead of foreign experts. The IMF and World Bank prescription could be more injurious and damaging in all respect under their tight conditionality’s. In addition, the government must be more vigilant against the sabotaging activities of the enemies through their agents and mercenaries. It needs to be realized by every individual, political party, rulers, bureaucrats and forces of the country to honestly and sincerely play their role for the uplift of the country and to tighten the loopholes for the mercenaries and foreign agents.

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