Pakistan survived as a debt free country for years despite challenges of rehabilitation of hundreds of thousands of refugees confronting the nascent nation in the early years of independence. The government had no funds to carryout day to day affairs, but the nation lived on without any external help. But the current situation is that the economy has been mortgaged to foreign lending agencies and debt retirement is expected to be the biggest problem in coming years. Though the country achieved the highest GDP growth after years of recession in 2016-17, the economy is still not in good shape and there required billions of dollars funds for its revival. The recent developments in the political horizon of the country have changed the dynamics of the economy. Unfortunately, there always remained a big schism between people and the government functionaries and no effort has ever been made to fill the gap. Important policies are blindly devised by those who matter which always fail at the implementation stages. The country achieved the highest GDP growth rate of 5.3 percent in June 2017 and inflation was contained at 4.5 percent. However, most of the gains achieved by the previous government lost in the ensuing tumultuous disturbances. The lot of the people could not be improved despite tons of lip service by the government officials.
The foreign exchanges reserved shot up to $21 billion from $6 billion in June 2013. However, the increase was ensured on the crutches of the loans from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. The country has failed to produce industrial surplus and exports declined by $5 billion in three and half years. The government achieved the GSP status in 2013, but could not avail the opportunity to penetrate the European markets. On another note, Bangladesh performed better than Pakistan and now Bangladeshi clothes are available in Pakistani markets despite the fact it was not a cotton producing country. The economy is still on the mercy of foreign loans and grants and the policymakers have no capacity to write down a roadmap to prosperity.
As a matter of fact, every government agency and every sector of the economy needs improvement. The business community and common man in this country are living on the hope of good days and their hopes should not be shattered. Instead of increasing the rates of taxes every other day, there is a need to curtail the size of indirect taxes and rationalize the rates of direct taxes.