Successive governments commenced their tenures by endlessly criticising the economic policies and delivery of their predecessors and projected themselves as a messiah who would lead the nation towards prosperity and better days. This rhetoric has been in vogue for decades, the present government, too, commenced its current tenure on the same note.
For the nation and its people this rhetoric is meaningless. It sours relationships and is of no interest to the general public. What the public expects is immediate results and not meaningless rhetoric. The public, in fact, demands the new government address their issues and bring about quantitative and qualitative change in their lives.
The mature approach would be that the successor government takes the ownership of the data of the last government and uses this as the benchmark to improve things. The incumbent government could make a start and bring around a paradigm shift in mindset and in comprehending public issues and acting upon it with a professional and mature approach. It has inherited the following scorecard that the PTI government has bequeathed to it:
====================================================== Pakistan Key Economic Indicators (as on 12 April 2022) ====================================================== Currency (Rs/USD) 182.2 Stock Market (Points) 46407 GDP/Annual Growth (%) 3.9 Unemployment Rate (%) 4.4 Inflation Rate (%) 12.7 Interest Rate (%) 12.2 Balance of Trade (MPKR) (-620633) Current Account to GDP (%) (-0.6) Government Debt to GDP (%) (-8.7) Government Budget to GDP (%) (-7.1) Consumer Confidence (points) 39.4 Corporate Tax Rate (%) 29.3 Personal Income Tax Rate (%) 35.3 Export FY 2021 (BUSD) 25.3 Export FY 2022 (9 months/BUSD) 23.3 Import FY 2021 (BUSD) 56.4 Import FY 2022 (9 months/BUSD) 46.5 LSM growth FY 2021 (%) 14.9 FDI FY 2021 (BUSD) 1.9 ======================================================
That there is still a lot of room for improvement insofar as these figures are concerned is a fact. The government needs to deliver on its promises on rising inflation in particular.
(The writer is former President, Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry)
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022