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Dilemma of structural reforms

Dilemma of structural reforms

The economy of Pakistan has been facing structural problems for the last many decades and needs structural reforms to move on the right track. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in his first address to the nation after his faction of the Pakistan Muslim League won the elections, had said that his agenda was economy, economy and economy. Now consuming two third of its tenure in the office, the government is in a quandary not knowing what to do and where to go. The economy is stagnant, exports are declining and heaps of problems are piling up only to haunt the nation that bad days are ahead. There are issues beyond the government control but there are others which can swiftly be resolved. The international financial institutions and economists are on the same page when they say that the country’s tax collection system is complex. We cannot blame the people solely responsible for tax evasion as the government laws also have a sort of contribution in it. Witch-hunt and persecution of the business community will lead to capital flight and that is what is happening in this country. The government ministers will never understand why people want to invest in countries like Dubai, Sri Lanka or Ghana or they prefer to have second passport to leave this country.

When a businessman flies from the country, it is not only the failure of the administration, but also failure of the economy. The government will never realize the adverse effects of the hostile economic policies. If the government is sincere in the economic development of the country, it will have to introduce a system of check and balance in the government departments to stop misuse of the official authority. The trust of the businessmen must have to be restored in the government institutions to increase public investment. The government will have to leave old methods and beaten track. As the country is facing the challenges of administrative failure, energy crisis and lack of vision, the businessmen are shy of investing in the industrial sector. The investors who refuse to leave the country are putting their money in real estate business which they deem fit and safe, depriving the industry of its due share.

Most of the policies are implemented on the behest of the international donor agencies which only concentrate on the collection of taxes and miserably ignore the health and education sectors. The government must change the present system, which is the legacy of the colonial era, to change the lot of this nation.