Wednesday, July 26, 2017
01:52 PM (GMT +5)

Go Back   CSS Forums > General > News & Articles > The Express Tribune

Reply Share Thread: Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook     Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter     Submit Thread to Google+ Google+    
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old Saturday, October 29, 2016
Amna's Avatar
Super Moderator
Moderator: Ribbon awarded to moderators of the forum - Issue reason: Best Moderator Award: Awarded for censoring all swearing and keeping posts in order. - Issue reason: Diligent Service Medal: Awarded upon completion of 5 years of dedicated services and contribution to the community. - Issue reason:
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Desert of Dream
Posts: 2,844
Thanks: 446
Thanked 1,815 Times in 995 Posts
Amna has much to be proud ofAmna has much to be proud ofAmna has much to be proud ofAmna has much to be proud ofAmna has much to be proud ofAmna has much to be proud ofAmna has much to be proud ofAmna has much to be proud of
Default Intriguing visit, intriguing results?

Intriguing visit, intriguing results?


By M Ziauddin


Seemingly the keynote event during the two-day visit of Ms Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF), to Pakistan was her keynote speech at a seminar on ‘Pakistan and emerging markets in the world economy’ on October 24, 2016. The government had paraded the visit in the media as an endorsement of its economic policies. Ms Lagarde did not sound disagreeing with the perception as she described the current state of world economy as ‘a moment of opportunity’ for Pakistan. But the list of challenges that she expects to come in the way of Pakistan’s attempts to make the most of this moment of opportunity are almost the same the country had been facing even before it went to the Fund for help three years ago: 1) Public debt remains high, at about 19 trillion rupees, or 65 per cent of GDP; 2) The interest bill is larger than Pakistan’s entire development budget; 3) Pakistan today still only collects little more than half of what is estimated as a feasible amount; 4) Currently public enterprises lose amount to more than two thirds of what is spent on the Benazir Income Support Programme; 5) Private investment in Pakistan today accounts for only 10 per cent of the economy. In emerging markets however, the average is about 18 per cent; 6) Pakistan’s exports are about 10 per cent of GDP; emerging markets’ exports are nearly four times as high; 7) Another way to boost growth is by improving the business climate — by strengthening governance and enabling the private sector to thrive; 8) Pakistan ranks 117 out of 168 countries in perceived corruption; 9) It still takes Pakistani companies much too long to figure out their tax forms. That time could be spent much more efficiently on pursuing business opportunities; 10) Simplifying procedures to open new businesses enforce contracts, and pay taxes can go a long way in promoting growth; 11) The energy sector reform needs to be completed; 12) Improving Pakistan’s business environment to the average of, say, the Middle East and North Africa region could increase growth by 1.5 percentage points per year; 13) Currently, education outcomes in Pakistan remain weak. One out of every 12 children in the world that does not attend school lives in Pakistan; 14) Bolstering public investment in education from 2.5 per cent of GDP to emerging market average — around 4 per cent of GDP — will be essential to prepare the workforce with the necessary skills and make Pakistan more competitive on the global market; 15) Beyond education, there is also a need to improve women’s participation in the economy. Closing gender gaps in economic participation could boost GDP by up to a third. These gains are non-trivial. Women can be game-changers for Pakistan.

This is the state of the national economy despite her claim that today, “thanks to the authorities’ homegrown programme of reforms that the IMF supported, the economy is on a much stronger footing. Public finances have improved considerably, external reserve buffers have been rebuilt, and growth has been gradually strengthening. These are very encouraging developments.”

She further claimed: Disruptive power outages have come down — from about nine hours to one hour per day for industries, and from eight to five hours for urban consumers.” Costly and inefficient subsidies were reduced. And the circular debt has also significantly decreased. Revenue collection improved by 2.5 per cent of GDP over the past three years. More than 1.5 million new beneficiaries were added to the Benazir Income Support Programme, and the programme’s cash stipends were raised by more than 50 per cent.

All these claims have already been questioned by eminent independent economists of the country. And what is so new about the challenges Pakistan has been facing for ages? So, this was perhaps not the actual purpose of the visit of the Fund MD to a country which, even those of her officials entrusted to monitor the progress of the three year programme avoided visiting for reviews finding it safer to do the job in UAE.

So, the more one mulls over the reasons for the visit the more one feels that it could have been prompted by a couple of powerful members of the Fund’s Board who in turn could perhaps have needed to send an urgent and strong message to Pakistani ruling elite.

The writer served as Executive Editor of The Express Tribune from 2009 to 2014
__________________
To succeed,look at things not as they are,but as they can be.:)
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pakistan's History From 1947-till present Sumairs Pakistan Affairs 10 3 Weeks Ago 04:36 AM
A difficult visit HASEEB ANSARI The Express Tribune 0 Monday, October 21, 2013 09:50 AM
Post China visit analysis HASEEB ANSARI News & Articles 0 Wednesday, July 17, 2013 04:56 PM
Theory of Ideas Khuram Discussion 2 Saturday, June 24, 2006 07:26 PM
The Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources free thinker Pakistan Affairs 1 Tuesday, April 25, 2006 08:05 AM


CSS Forum on Facebook Follow CSS Forum on Twitter

Disclaimer: All messages made available as part of this discussion group (including any bulletin boards and chat rooms) and any opinions, advice, statements or other information contained in any messages posted or transmitted by any third party are the responsibility of the author of that message and not of CSSForum.com.pk (unless CSSForum.com.pk is specifically identified as the author of the message). The fact that a particular message is posted on or transmitted using this web site does not mean that CSSForum has endorsed that message in any way or verified the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message. We encourage visitors to the forum to report any objectionable message in site feedback. This forum is not monitored 24/7.

Sponsors: ArgusVision   vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.