Worrying indicators

The incumbent government has missed almost all the economic targets which were unrealistically set by the previous government. Sharp decline has witnessed in the industrial sector which registered a growth of 1.4 percent against the projected target of 7.6 percent. Large scale manufacturing performed dismally with a growth rate of 0.3 percent however, the target of 8.2 percent growth has been achieved in small scale manufacturing. The performance of livestock was also satisfactory with a growth of 4 percent against the target of 3.8 percent. Agriculture did not perform well as it grew by 0.8 percent against the target of 3.3 percent. The service sector grew by 4.7 percent against the target of 8.5 percent and the construction sector achieved a growth of 8.6 percent against the target of 10 percent. The service sector is not labour intensive.

Although the electricity production increased significantly but at the same time the frequent increases in its tariff took a heavy toll on the production in large scale manufacturing. The neglect of technology improvement with a comprehensive policy of modern technology introduction and its indegenisation by investing liberally in research and development has also contributed to the decline in the production of large scale manufacturing in addition to the currency depreciation which made the imported raw material and intermediate goods very expensive for the exports producing industries.

Irrigation water availability situation for Karif crops was good as compared with the previous one but the expensive quality seeds, fertilizers and other agriculture inputs further aggravated the ongoing crisis in agriculture. The manipulative tricks of middlemen to cheat the growers of cereal crops are also a factor that contributes to the decline in the production of agriculture sector.

No magic wand was applied for achieving the economic targets in the decade of 1960s. Comprehensive industrial and agriculture long term policies, inexpensive energy and agriculture inputs and progressive taxation regime made its realisation possible. Will the PTI government focus on long term policy formulation?