GLAD tidings continue to pour in about Pakistan’s economy, with International Monetary Fund (IMF) recognizing the economic strides and consolidation made by it over the last few years now. It manifests that the country does not need another loan programme, in wake of its enhanced foreign exchange reserves and growth rate.
Other economic indicators are positive with inflation rate standing below four per cent. Chairing a meeting in Islamabad on Friday, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said, the budget deficit has been brought down to 4.3 percent from 8.8 percent while revenue collection has witnessed a growth of 19 percent this year due to better fiscal management. Indeed, these are healthy signals and if the trend continues on positive note, one can hope that the country will not seek any new IMF loan package to peddle the economy and pay off the loans. The IMF still has to disburse $1.1 billion under the existing loan package of $ 6.7 billion before the end of September. Certainly, Pakistan has the resources and the potential to stand on its own feet by making right interventions in the important sectors of economy including textile, agriculture and industries which will not only create many job opportunities for our youth but also enhance our exports which currently stand at paltry $ 25 billion. To build on the economic gains, what the country especially needs at this point of time is the political stability but it is regrettable that whenever the economy is about to take off, certain elements surface again to harm the interests of the country. This time around Panama disclosures have caused an uproar in the national politics and the Prime Minister did the right thing by offering himself and his family for accountability process and also wrote a letter to the Chief Justice of Pakistan to form a Commission for fair and transparent inquiry into the leaks that also contains the names of many other bigwigs in different realms. Undoubtedly, this matter should be investigated in toto and across the board action should be taken against those found involved in money laundering and illegal transfer of funds abroad as such malpractices have also caused a great harm to our economy. It indeed will be a great service to the nation if this matter of illegal offshore holdings is settled once and for all but at the same time we will ask the opposition parties not to pull government’s legs on the matter as it will again bring us to a standstill position. Besides, we will also urge our leaders to shun their extravaganza lifestyle in order to inculcate the same spirit in the common man.