Economic Crisis in Pakistan
In 21st century economy is taken as ‘Religion’. It is the blood in the veins of nation state, vitality in the human muscles, base for brutal wars and a reason for governments to rule. The motherland has painfully experienced rising poverty and sinking economy; despite world’s best canal system, profitable geostrategic location, and unexplored resources. The nation, who earned nuclear position despite miseable poverty and sever foreign pressure, can do wonders, if provided with dedicated leadership.
Pakistan economy is under its terrible crisis due to following REASONS
One of the immediate causes is Political instability due to Musharaf’s position as president, delay in restoring judiciaryand resultantly withdrawal of PML (N) from the alliance leaving behind ‘dead’ ministry of finance. In contrast the present government is not showing strong will to cope with the situation. Though some Positive Measures. To end Load Shedding till 14th August, 2009, Benazir income Scheme programme, Distribution of Land in Sindh, tight Tariff System against luxury items
Suicide attacks in the industrial cities-fear among people, disinvestment and maximum outflow of capital, especially in Dubai stock exchange crash.
Foreign investment in 2007 was $ 700,63.5 million but in 2008 only $329 million.
Soaring oil prices due to increased demand from growing economics of China and India, Iraq crisis, Iran holding its oil export, devaluation of Dollar after Iraq invasion and limited supply by OPEC, refusal of Saudi Arabia to enhance its oil supply. More population to use energy from to $ 134/ barrel in 2008.
Food crisis oil prices, low agriculture yield due to heavy cost of production (seeds, pesticides, water and fertilizers), unavailability of small loans to small farmers, power shortage, fast increasing of population, poor governance in managing the food and to stop its smuggling to Afghanistan. Central Asia and Iran which stored big food stocks due to American war. World Food Crisis encouraged its smuggling. Less attention by the governments to live stock, dairy stock, increased circulation of paper currency. Big share of ‘Middle Man’.
World Food Crisis: population explosion, emergence of middle class with more food consumption in India and China. Low yield in India. Earthquake in China, increase in world oil prices.
Inflation means price hike, huge gar between demand and supply, too many rupees chasing too few things. More supply of Money due to; AID after 9/11. Foreign Remittances due to over seas Pakistanis, growth in banking sector and investment in real estate. Poor supply of goods, food items due to low yield. Inflation due to rise in oil prices, food, removal of food subsidy, devaluation of Rupee, higher import price, Government borrowing from State Bank Rs . 544 billion. Resultantly increase in wage-price. Delay in monetary tightening by the State Bank. Government claims 25% while actual is 32% while food inflation is 45%
Poor tax system:
Only salaried persons pay regular tax, while the major sectors find safe path through corruption. Agriculture tax cannot be imposed due to feudal in policy making.
TOPPERSProduction was not encouraged by the previous government, rather Pakistan was made a consumer society, services sector was enhanced which created less jobs.
Services sector expansion at 8.2%. Highest Sugarcane production 63.9% million.
Construction field, per capital income $ 1085.
GDP growth rate 5.8% investment declined to 21.6% of GDP. National savings to 13.9% of GDP.
Effects of Economic crisis:
· political commitment to formulate short term and long term policies with consistency
· Levy of an excise duty on non-essential consumer goods to save foreign reserves
· Development of the agricultural income tax by the provinces
· Give priority to agriculture, water, power, health and education.
· Limiting the extent of govt borrowing from the State Bank of Pakistan
· Establish an independent Federal Bureau of Statistics headed by a professional that directly reports to the Parliament and not to the govt.
· Establish independent panel of experts to engage in the consultative process in the design, implementation and monitoring of donor supported projects critical to the medium-term economic recovery. This will ensure transparency, rig our and relevance.
· Given the multiple dimensions of uncertainty in the global, national and household economy, it is essential that the highest priority for protection to the poor where uncertainty can lead to irreversible damage-in the shape of high morbidity and mortality, decline in the nutritional status of children and women, and withdrawal from schools.
· An over-arching principle should be maximum leveraging of scarce public resources by exploring all potential avenues forprivate partnership in the public development program.
· A core structure weakness of the economy highlighted by the current crisis is the lack of international competitiveness that retards an export-led growth strategy.
· Govt’s role in providing marketing information and producing to international needs to be revamped.
· Within country logistics costs should be reduced.
· Worker skills are critical to give our firms a competitive edge in international markets; programs for skill upgrading need to be modernized.
· The current debilitating power shortages have to be redressed quickly and a well through medium term energy plan need to be in place that provides reasonably priced and good quality power to industry.
· Given our natural comparative advantage in agriculture, i.e. the world’s largest contiguous canal irrigation system, diversity of agro-climatic zones, good soil conditions and cheap labor with a centuries old farming traditions, poor crop yields and absence of high value added agricultural exports, is a glaring example of unfulfilled promise.
· Maintenance, modernization and expansion of key rural infrastructure spanning water, roads and electricity are in urgent need of policy and institutional reforms.
· Accelerating the growth of small and medium farms where there is considerable potential for increasing yield per acre and employment generation
To reduce regional inequalities by actively targeting less-developed areas of the country. The Balochistan govt must be provided the resources to implement its strategy. In addition, similar strategies need to be developed for NWFP.
Greater decentralization of resources and setting of development priorities by the provinces themselves. Encourage investment by China in Pakistan through development of infrastructure and appropriate
Ancentives to tap South Asian markets.
Increase and modernize land trade routes, including investment in infrastructure and allowing each others trucks and containers to carry cargo to market destinations.
Pakistan’s institutional and economic structure continues to constrains its ability to achieve long-term poverty reductionand inclusive economic growth; and sustain an unequal distribution of income and opportunities for its male and female citizenry. Therefore to provide equitable market access for the poor and enable them to contribute to GDP growth through sustainable livelihood.
(MUET SZAB Khairpur)