Atif Mian, a noted Pakistani-American economist and currently a professor of Economics, Public Policy, and Finance at Princeton University, has said that Pakistan “is bankrupt” and “sinking deeper every year”.
In a series of tweets on Sunday, the economist highlighted the impact of the February 09 General Elections for Pakistan that remains engulfed in a myriad of economic challenges including “inflation, growth, debt and investment.”
“Pakistan’s economy has consistently fallen behind globally – last year was one of the worst, with the economy actually contracting,” he said. “Every macro fundamental is flashing red: inflation, growth, debt, investment, to name a few.”
Criticising the government’s inability to generate revenue, Atif said the federal government has no money.
“It cannot even afford to pay the salary of a peon or a soldier without borrowing,” he said.
The economist said Pakistan’s entire tax revenue is consumed after paying provinces their share, pensions to retirees, and interest on debt.
“Inflation cannot be controlled when the entire government is run on deficit,” he said.
Whereas, “growth is impossible when government has no money to invest in the future, and lack of growth makes every problem worse,” he said.
“The country is bankrupt. It is sinking deeper every year,” he exclaimed while highlighting the state of affairs in the South Asian country.
“I have never seen such despondency. So many wanting to leave, established firms are no longer comfortable investing.
“Yet no leader has a viable economic plan for the future,” he said.
“People are mad – and they have every right to be. 442,353 children died in Pakistan just last year due to poverty, which is almost half a million dead kids every year.”
The General Elections 2024 have been marred with unclarity as the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), to date, has not announced the results of all constituencies.
Meanwhile, the economist warned that after the latest elections, the distance between the ruler and the ruled has never been wider.
“Do they understand how dangerous that is?” he questioned.
“There is an attempt – once again – to cobble together a compromised group.
“No one has a plan to fix the economy. But even if they magically did somehow, they cannot do anything because they have lost all trust in their people they are foreigners in their own land,” concluded Atif.