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While Pakistan has been blessed with many natural blessings like four seasons, good agricultural crops, sea ports, our economy still remain very vulnerable. There are many reasons for our feeble economy, the fundamental reason is our inconsistent policies. We have never made policies which are country specific but it rotates with the change of Governments.

Though we consider ourselves as agriculturally based economy, over the decade we have only concentrated on Wheat, Rice, Sugarcane and Cotton. We have never given any priority to the Oilseed Crops. This is the reason that our Country remain dependent over 90% on the import of Edible Oils and Oilseeds.

To improve the Oilseed crops, we need to give some fertile portion of the land to the Oilseeds and increase the support price for farmers. We also need to inculcate the culture of research in agriculture so that we can improve the yield of our various crops.

It is indeed important to increase our exports and for that purpose we need to reduce our cost of doing business so that our products can remain competitive in the world markets. Our infrastructural cost is exorbitantly high and this is the reason that we are not very much competitive in the Global markets.

While great emphasis is indeed required to promote exports, we have to concentrate on giving incentives to the Industries. Without industrialization neither we can improve our indigenous production nor we can create employment. To promote industries, it is absolutely necessary to improve our infrastructure and reduce the cost of the same.

Trade facilitation is the key to promote industries and we need to remove all the obstacles and create the culture of trade facilitation. Our Country has tremendous potential as we have enormous talent. What we need is the consistency in the Government policies and a clear roadmap to move forward.

Our Government also have to change the mindset of changing the policies of previous Governments even if they are doing good for the Country. We have to learn to give credit to those who are doing good and we must not criticize only for the sake of criticism.

Our sea ports are best in the region and some more concentration is required to improve the berthing facilities at Port Karachi and Port Qasim so that Country may not loose valuable foreign exchange in the shape of demurrages. We should make our port users friendly so that Pakistan can become a transshipment hub for the landlock countries. Our road network is still better, however, we need to improve the railway facilities as railway is the cheapest mode of transportation.

The role of our trade bodies are indeed very much significant, however, they also need to develop their Research & Development (R&D) Department to give necessary feedback to the Government.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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