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Economy amid political chaos

Economy amid political chaos

The economy of Pakistan is facing various challenges — some of which are self-made and some of the others are inherent. There are external challenges such has constant conspiracies and threats from hostile neighbours on the west and east sides of the country while others are internal, including political brawls within the so-called democratic parties. However, no procedural attempt has ever been made to resolve anything in the country. Despite positive indicators, the economy is on the downward trajectory where the rising import bill has created a huge trade deficit. The international institutions are closely watching the national affairs and the world rating agencies are painting a bleak picture of the economy. A poor ranking at the ease of doing business index shows the foreign investors are afraid of the wide array of federal and provincial taxes whereas the tax regulations are also difficult to navigate. The companies, which are interested in the investment, have to face various hurdles from beginning to the end. The problems faced by the investors have nothing to do with the bureaucratic machinery as they draw heavy salaries and perks at the cost of taxpayers’ money without doing anything on their part.

The politicians are busy in fighting with one another and introduction of reforms and devising business-friendly policies are not their business. When lethargy prevails in the official circles, it renders a large part of the official machinery dysfunctional. As economic woes are multiplying, the demographic indicators are also changing, calling for introduction of institutional, technical and structural reforms at the earliest. The administrative failures have already thrown Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Somalia into the list of failed states and God forbid Pakistan should not be the next in the line. Vietnam has used Chinese model to uplift its economy and China used Japanese model to push itself into the first world countries. Pakistan has much better position than these countries and only planning and vision of the country’s leadership is required to launch business-friendly policies. If the population of the country is increasing, the workforce capacity of the country is also on the rise. The government policymakers have to follow a role model and devise a firm strategy to implement it. The federal budget is going to be announced next month and it is hoped the government will give proper place to investment friendly policies. The government should have to launch capacity-building programmes for the official cadre and devise friendly policies to boost business, trade and investment in the country.