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Dar’s narratives on state of economy

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is very optimistic about the growing state of economy, saying all economic indicators are moving in the right direction and the situation will further improve in the coming months. The stereotype statement is not different from the other ministers and officials who are part of this government. The nation also expects strong economy and real growth in trade, business and industrial sectors. The economy of the country shows both positive and negative indicators, but one thing is clear the government is still hesitant to adopt proactive approach to deal with the emerging situation. According to Dar, the country is ready to make a strong comeback and its economy is now stronger than it was in 2013. But the steps he had initiated to increase tax revenues have miserably backfired. The imposition of withholding tax on banking transactions is still haunting the business community as well as the banking sector while the reforms in the real estate sector had to be withdrawn after five months of hassle. The introduction of an amnesty scheme for the real estate sector shows the policymakers are in the habit of taking decisions in haste only to withdraw the same in a few months.

There is no doubt in the good performance of the Pakistan Stock Exchange in recent months and an apparent macroeconomic stability in the country. Whatsoever the government has attained and achieved in the third years of its tenure is appreciable, but economic potentials of the country have still not been fully utilized. The exports are falling and foreign exchange reserves are maintained on the crutches of loans. If this is the cause of macroeconomic stability, there will be a trouble for the coming government as debt servicing will eat up most of the funds meant for development programmes.

The leadership of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz never tired of claiming that it will end load shedding within specified time. But it tended to extend the deadlines and there is no improvement in the energy sector despite the government has consumed a major part of its tenure. The writ of the government is weak and it could not stop politicization of the major dam projects. The country is not only facing terrorism, mismanagement and corruption, but also it has to fight the conspiracies hatched by the eternal enemy of the country, India.

Pakistan is a land of resources and opportunities, but none of the sectors has been exploited to its full extent. Mr Dar should now fully devote his time for the economic and financial stability of the country by keeping his personal engagements at bay for some time and for the cause of the nation.


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