Newspapers usually have a section for specific issues related to economy. People are kept informed of market conditions through this segment. Why are these news stories so important? The answer is simple that is government’s inefficiency to tackle economic crisis. Country’s economy is in turmoil. Apparently, some day there will be a wave of severe deficit that will shatter the economy and God forbid we may go bankrupt.
I often think in case such worse situation persists, Pakistan will further lead towards a blind alley. Experts have been constantly warning the government regarding the economy for the past year. But the government has closed its eyes like a pigeon, assuming that everything is going well. The value of rupee depreciated in the market, the deficit was met by exports and imports imbalance.
The government claims that the country’s growth rate is 3.3 percent, but in fact, it is 1.9 percent. The surprising thing is that the growth rate is lower than in war-torn Afghanistan. Pakistan has the lowest growth rate in South Asian countries. Pakistan has the lowest rate of growth, but the interest rate is the highest. These two factors have led to inflation in country. The wheels of the industry stopped. About one million people are unemployed.
Government’s claim of creating 10 million jobs was flawed from the very beginning. At present, people are worried about saving their jobs than gaining new opportunities. The credit to economic slump goes to not only PTI but previous reckless regimes too.
The country’s growth at 1.3 percent, this year, will render many millions unemployed. This means that PTI, which claims to provide one crore jobs, would economically slaughter 22 million people jobless by the end of two years of its rule.
The government raised interest rates to support the economy. Some people made investments. Now as Pakistan reduces interest rates, investors will withdraw their money from banks, which will result in another catastrophe. Sugar and wheat were low in the country. Nevertheless, it was allowed to export abroad. The traders not only exported wheat but also exported fine flour, semolina, flour, and vermicelli. Its agricultural commodities were exported for the benefit of a few rupees, but now the same wheat is being imported at double the cost.
This year, the country’s agricultural output is also expected to be dangerously low compared to the past. But no steps are currently being taken to improve it. Due to poor government policies, the capitalist is not paying taxes, while the government is collecting money from the people through utility bills.
Claims for economic reforms are being made by the government, but the effects are not reaching the common man. According to economists, Pakistan will have to bring interest rates down by four to five percent, while imbalance exports and imports have to be eliminated. If this imbalance is to be understood in simple terms, the more exports a country has, the faster the economy will grow.
This requires that Pakistan reduce its dependence on imports by boosting the local industry. But smuggling should also be controlled to curb imports. At present, only Imran Khan’s government is blamed for the country’s economic collapse, but this is not true. The journey to this economic crisis began in the seventies, which continues to this day.
The first direct elections in Pakistan took place in December 1970. As a result of these controversial elections, East Pakistan separated from us. At the same time, we have been suffering the consequences of the policies of the then Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Pakistan’s growth rate during the first twenty-five years was 6.8 percent annually. But under Bhutto’s leadership, the rate reached 4.8 percent. There are several reasons, some of which I will present in this blog.
The first reason is Pakistan’s agriculture. Agriculture was the basis of this country at the time of the establishment of Pakistan. But Bhutto’s policies strengthened the industry along with agriculture. That is, the country was ruled by a capitalist system. The life of the farmer became miserable. But the manufacturer’s industries began to spread. This country was ruled not by farmers but by traders. Every policy from the House to the shop began to protect the industrialists. These traders started thinking for their benefit rather than the country.
On one hand, subsidies were received from the government, On the other hand, the price of raw materials for the farmers was also getting lower. If the investor receives raw material at a lower price from abroad, he does not have to worry that the local farmer’s crop is lost or he sells it for some pennies. As a result, the Pakistani farmer reduced the focus on crops and the area under cultivation of the country started to decline rapidly.
With the same system, Pakistan’s imports began to rise. In the Musharraf regime, Pakistan would send hundreds of dollars’ worth of goods abroad. During the era of Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif, the gap began to widen. Today Pakistan imports 230 dollars worth of goods compared to 100. That is, capital from the country is rapidly moving abroad.
The requirement is that the government ban the import of non-essential items. Common man’s confidence should be restored so that he along with paying taxes gain necessary benefits. Political stability is key in the current scenario. Government policies should be criticized and solutions should be addressed.
Improve the quality of life of farmers by heeding to their demands and timely fulfilling them. Instead of the industrialists, subsidies should be given to the farmers so that they can vigorously restore their love for this gold-burning soil. It is also important for the government to improve growth rates and experts should take into account the concerns of the economy, as more people cannot afford unemployment.