The economic team of PTI government led by Dr. Hafeez Sheikh once again claimed that economy has come out of the economic crisis and entered into the period of stabilisation. This is not the first time that PTI government’s economic managers have tried to dispel the impression that economy is in crisis. Why then the most independent economists and journalists covering the economy think the opposite?
The government economic managers always show us the brighter side of the economic picture. That is the part of their job and also necessary to convince their boss to justify their existence. So first, they bring in the feel good factor in the government and then try to convince the rest of the country to start feel good about the economy. That is what Dr. Hafeez Sheikh did in his press conference couple of days ago in which he said that the economy was on the right track and its deficits were reducing. He wants us to feel good about the economic situation.
Yes, the deficits in the economy are undoubtedly shrinking, and Dr. Hafeez Sheikh is right to point out that the size of the imbalances is reducing. He is also right to take a stand on tax collection and the documentation drive that is presently under way. The trade and current account deficits have been reduced.
But the question is whether the reduced current account deficit and aggressive tax collection drive is enough to stop the slide of the economy and to fix the economic problems. Unfortunately, the answer is no. The government is not necessary measures and steps to bring down the rising inflation that is really hurting the poor masses badly. The prices of food, vegetables and other daily essentials have gone out the reach of masses.
The new investment is not coming from both the international and domestic investors. The production and exports are almost stagnant. Unemployment is rising. The economic growth rate is continued to fall. The economic slowdown has not been stopped.
For the people, whether the common man or the investor, results do not mean shrinking deficits. What the people are looking for is a check on inflation, improved job and investment opportunities, a tax burden that does not eat into one’s essential spending, and so on. Material improvements in the lives of the public and getting the rusty wheels of the economy to start turning again are the real deliverables of economic policy, and not shrinking deficits and changing ratios.
Every Pakistani wants to see the economy improve and recover. Everybody wants to see the fastest growth rate in the GDP. Everyone wants jobs, economic opportunities, investment, and better business environment, increased production, new industries and booming economy. Everybody wants to feel that improvement in their day-to-day lives. Everybody will feel the improvement in the economy when their lives will have improvement. When their income will increase and they will be able to properly feed themselves. The real improvement in the economy is needed that can positively impact the lives of poor masses. The PTI government is failing on this front.
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27 September, 2019