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Increased reliance on foreign debt termed country’s mortgage

ISLAMABAD: Economists and former in office politicians have warned that the future of Pakistan’s economy is being mortgaged the way government is increasing its reliance on foreign debt.

While exclusively talking to Customs Today, former commerce minister Jehangir Tareen, former finance minister Salman Shah and Chairman Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad Professor Khurshid Ahmed expressed their deep concerns on this disclosure by the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar that Pakistan is borrowing 1.6 billion dollars from World Bank and that a ceremony is scheduled to be held in Washington on May 1st.

Jehangir Tareen said that the incumbent finance minister is opting easy solutions to revive weakened economy instead of generating new resources of national income. “It is mortgaging of the future of Pakistan’s economy,” he warned.

Salman Shah said that in his tenure in office, government had ended borrowing from IMF and national economy was on strong footing. “But now the government is relying on both IMF and World Bank to enhance the burden of the foreign debt.” He said it is an artificial betterment of economy including the way the dollar depleted against Pakistani rupee. He stressed long term planning to enhance new resources of income and the tax net, as well as to apprehend growing trend of tax evasion.

Professor Khurshid said, “The way government is borrowing from World Bank and IMF, clearly shows that the government’s lack of vision to put the national economy on sound footing. He said that the present government has been criticizing previous governments for excessive borrowing in the recent past, and now after coming to power it is continuing to follow the flawed policies of the previous governments.

He said that the fact that many of our parliamentarians and even federal ministers have been found guilty of either tax evasion, or mis-declaration of their assets, shows that the ruling elite in not sincere to the nation. He warned that if this trend of borrowing is to be continued a major chunk of our national income would have to be consumed on debt servicing.

news 2014-04-18
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