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Economy vs low oil prices

Economy vs low oil prices

According to the Asian Development Bank, Pakistan has failed to reap the benefits of reduction in oil prices in the international market. In its annual report, the bank says that various countries in the region have affected by the global economic slump as exports are diminishing and remittances are shrinking. Pakistan is also affected by slow economic activities and slump in global commodity prices, but reduction in the oil bill, which accounts a third of all the country’s imports, could not bring any good to the economy. The country lacks capacity to diversify and expand its manufacturing sector and also faces structural issues. A loan of $1 billion has been approved for infrastructural projects in Sindh and Punjab. The money will also be used to provide modern facilities at Chaman, and Torkham borders, the two main transit points for trade with Afghanistan,while Wagah checkpoint will also be developed to enhance connectivity of the sub-continent with the Central Asian region.The bank will also extend technical assistance to develop a national transport policy, improve road safety, enhance road asset management and facilitate international transport.

The foreign donor agencies often point out anomalies in financial discipline, but who cares when vested interests reign supreme in the corridors of power. Cotton and textile is the backbone of the economy but bleak performance in this sector despite access to the European markets shows how the exportsare nose-diving and the government is in no hurry to arrest the situation. According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the exports of textile products have fallen to $9.363 billion during the first nine months of the current fiscal year from $10.194 billion in the same period last year, showing a decline of 8.15 percent. At least 10.14 percent decline is recorded in cotton cloth, 32.45 percent in cotton yarn, 97.88 percent in cotton carded, 4.13 percent in bed wear and 2.10 percent in knitwear whereas the raw cotton exports witnessed a huge decline of 46.97 percent.

The ruling elite often blames the opposition parties for every chaos in the country, but it is a common phenomenon in democracies all over the world. The opposition always highlight issues and it is the responsibility of the government to clear its position. When the government’s own house is not in order andits ministers are at loggerheads with each other,how it will be able to ensure economic growth and perfection in administrative affairs. The country spends most of its foreign exchange on oil imports and it is a good opportunity to use the saved money on development projects.