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This is apropos a Business Recorder op-ed "sustainable development goals" carried by the newspaper recently. The writer, Dr Hafiz A. Pasha, has argued, among other things that "The pandemic, COVID-19, will make it even more difficult for Pakistan and other countries to achieve the SDGs. For example, Pakistan made very good progress in reducing poverty between 2015 and 2018. Given an almost 3 percent annual growth in real capita income and relatively stable food prices, the incidence of poverty is estimated to have come down from 39 percent in 2015 to 31 percent in 2018. However, the subsequent plummeting of the GDP growth, the relatively high inflation in food prices and the spread of COVID-19 since March 2020, have caused the level of poverty to rise sharply to 41 percent of the population."

In my view, however, it increasingly appears that the incumbent government is fast losing touch with reality. The federal cabinet, for example, has been recently informed by planning minister Asad Umer that all economic indicators are good except for inflation. He has not painted the correct picture of state of economy mainly because of the fact that there exist no authentic or reliable data of any area of economic activity. The question therefore is how the minister can make such a questionable claim.

Rahat Masood (Karachi)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020