Islamabad: Hopes for economic revival are high as one of the most powerful civilian rulers has taken over as President of Pakistan. Now Asif Ali Zardari should ensure political and economic stability as country is paralyzed since eighteen months due to power struggles, said Pakistan Economy Watch on Tuesday. Cancellation of holiday in Sindh has not only saved billions but also assured that Asif Zardari is very serious about economy. His soft and compromising stance during the press conference says volumes about his plans. He is expected to find solution to energy crisis with the help of China and contain lawlessness and unemployment.
Rest and liberalization are luxuries he cannot afford
A number of issues have been cropped up during last eighteen months that must be tackled at the same time; country cannot afford the luxury of resolving issues one after another, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President, Pakistan Economy Watch.
The power struggle among Pakistan People’s Party, PML-Nawaz, former President Musharraf; issue of restoration of deposed judges coupled with deteriorating law and order situation has resulted in Asia’s highest interest rates, record borrowings, riskiest financial obligations, the weakest currency, dwindling forex reserves and a stock market that depressed by almost 50 percent in last five months. Political instability and failed attempts to shore up the market has spurred an exodus of investors. Steps like curbs on stock trading which are neither positive, nor sustainable should be avoided in future.
Country saw three finance ministers in six months
Asif Ali Zardari has taken oath today and he should immediately appoint fulltime finance and commerce ministers as the economy has braved three finance ministers in last six months. “Three finance ministers with different views have served Pakistan in the current year including Salman Shah, Ishaq Dar and Naveed Qamar,” said Dr. Murtaza Mughal.
Subsidies, fiscal slippages and other unnecessary spending has widened the budget deficit to a 10-year high and the fiscal issue are the weakest link in the policy mix. Pakistan has to arrange for oil import bill and interest of the foreign debts to avoid a default.
Load shedding and prices of energy has hit all the production sectors of country and half of the 168 million populations are struggling to afford food, he said. Punjab government should be given assurance and the principle of live and let live should be adopted in the interest of Pakistan. The steps and statements of some people are hurting the reconciliatory measures taken on by Pakistan People’s Party.
Aiwan-e-Sadr should become a sign of stability and not conspiracies as past. He said that politics in very important but it could only pay dividends when economy is stable and President must create a new future for Pakistan to survive. Leader of PML-N Nawaz Sharif should also shun differences and come forward to help stabilize Pakistan otherwise we will have no future.- Pak Economy Watch