Amna Bhutto

Aug 14, 2017

After a decade of a shrunken down economy, Pakistan has progressed to regain the economy back to the growth rate of 5.3% with a maximum role-play in the agriculture sector accompanied with an unprecedented surpassing of the services sector. Facing a demotion from 8.2% in 2012-13 to a mere 4.2% in 2016-17, Former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar regarded it a moment of celebration for the country terming the incline to be one of the majors in the history of Pakistan, overlooking the fact that to the insightful audience of the country mere inclination doesn’t impress as much as the decrease in the perils like poverty.


The per capita income has a greater role in the well-spring of any country and according to 2017’s economic survey of Pakistan, there has been an enormous boost in per capita income as previous year it was 1.1% and now the figure ticks to 6.4%. Government set total 20 indicators this year out of which 11 hit the target but 9 remained even below contemplation. Apparently, the target seems to have been missed by 0.4% but a colossal inclination in the agricultural numbers comes as the victory to cheer on, surging from 0.3% to 3.5% presently.


Despite of a pretentious emblazon by the government of its own performance what needs to be heeded are the factors that make economy what it looks like today - an initiative-turned-acronym famously known as the CPEC and the projects aimed to maximize the power sector’s performance. The total investments in the fiscal year of 2017 reached to 11%. However, what the government needs to emphasize on is the transparency in performance in those sectors and an equilibrium in the trade conditions with China, which are wholly a game of one-sided profit. With China, Pakistan has subsidized the trade and lowered the taxes on the imports while the amount of exports from Pakistan remains dramatically small. What the aforesaid scenario illustrates is but a short-sighted boost which is to diminish in the governmental tenures to come.


As about the tax policies of Mr. Dar, businesses and individuals have suffered widely especially due to the globally known phenomenon of withholding tax. The vulnerable citizens’ purchasing power is highly affected and negated and so the demand and need of the increase in salaries of the government employees has become inevitable, What can be done instead to enhance the tax collection mechanism is the increase in direct taxes that shall apply to the elite class of society and those who evade and still manage to rescue the scrutiny.

 

Apart from that, the negligence of the government lies in its incoherent framework implied to the economic growth. Had it relied on more long-term instruments like higher public spending instead of projects that are only of superficial importance, it would have been the first government in a long time to have sown seeds of a profound growth and not just temporary silver lining at the end of the 4-year long tunnel.



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