A World Bank official has predicted that Pakistan can join the group of high-income economies if it achieves sustainable growth rate of eight percent in its gross domestic product. However, in case it maintains a usual growth rate of up to 5 percent, half of its population will not be able to get social benefits in next three decades. Pakistan and the World Bank relations were established in early 50s and the country has been steadily availing loans programmes of the bank since then. However, the speed of getting loans has increased in recent years due to failures of the successive government to put the economy on the right track. Whether it is the civilian or military government in the office, the piles of loans are adding to the country’s burden with every passing day and the situation is fast reaching a breaking point. The population of the country is growing at 2.5 percent yearly and the minimum growth rate of eight percent is the panacea of the emerging woes. At least 40 percent of the country’s population consists of the youth and they need better education and jobs opportunities. However, in a country where economy is the least priority and politics dominates everywhere, it is not difficult to predict the emerging economic situation in the near future.
The bank official has advised the government to take measures to remove gender gap by creating equal jobs and business opportunities for women. This can be only possible if the government chose to invest in the human capital. According to him, the government needs to increase budget for education and health sectors to achieve targets for fourth industrial revolution. However, all the burden of hopes is placed on the federal government and the provincial governments are running the business as usual without considering their responsibilities in the nation building activities. The youth of the country are brilliant and intelligent but need opportunities to prove their mettle. A common student with higher education in any field has the limited options to participate in the nation building programmes.
The government has to encourage the business community to invest in the development projects instead of pressuring them for one reason or the other. The current policy is encouraging capital flight from the country. There is a need to launch business and industrial policies to attract local and foreign investment. Otherwise, tightening the noose around business community will throw the economy into unending crisis.