Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has depicted a rosy picture of the economy and expressed the government’s resolve to confront the challenges facing the nation. He claims that 22 world financial institutions have projected the country’s economy as stable and the government has brought down the budget deficit from 8.8 percent to 4.3 percent of the gross domestic product. However, many economic variables belie his claim as Pakistan’s exports have been declining for the last couple of years. Though the economists hold global economic slowdown, high cost of production, energy crisis and inefficiencies of the private sector responsible for the situation, the country has failed to tap its potentials of growth on many occasions. Until now the government has failed to achieve any of the economic targets other than adding the burden of loans on the national economy and the situation has reached a breaking point. A recent media report suggests that Pakistan has to spend 42 percent of its budget on debt servicing, but the minister is still dodging himself or the nation that the economy is vibrant by all aspects.
There are no two opinions on the notion that Pakistan has great potential to progress and has a bright future, but actions speak louder than words. Only a lip-service will not bring any change in the economy or in the lives of the people. He claims that the tax growth rate has increased to 33 percent in two years from 3 percent in the past and foreign exchange reserves have crossed $20 billion. However, what will be the after effects of the rigorous drive against the business community is such a factor which has always been ignored by the government. He says that the government wants to increase the GDP growth rate up to 15 percent, but failed to explain how it will happen. The government has obtained foreign loans amounting to $45.94 billion from 2000 to 2013 and it is still piling up.
The government has recently introduced a tax amnesty scheme which is a right step in the right direction. However, it should also invite the foreign investors to set up industries along the economic corridor to achieve real GDP growth. ‘Make in Pakistan’ is a good idea and Pakistan can become an attractive destination for the investors if government gives tax relief and provides modern infrastructure to the foreign entrepreneurs. There are various sectors in Pakistan where foreign investors can find opportunities and take benefits from the liberal policies of the government. The finance minister, however, deserves kudos for his sincere efforts to revive the national economy.