Critics say that no economic plan is likely to work until the country first puts an end to the political instability
KARACHI: The economic scorecard of the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) coalition government remains the worst in the country’s history with most of the key macroeconomic numbers in the red due to the country’s continuing political instability, and Islamabad’s inability to revive the stalled programme of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
As Pakistan struggles under the weight of record-high inflation averaging 29.20 percent, falling incomes and the overall slowdown in the economic activity, the Shehbaz Sharif government has so far failed to give any concrete roadmap for the economic revival against the backdrop of a serious balance of payment crisis. The government says that there remains no threat of sovereign debt default for the country, but markets remain jittery.
With barely two months now left in the completion of the five-year term of the current Parliament, the government has formed a new forum ‘Special Investment Facilitation Council’ at the prodding of the Pakistan Army. The council, which is being supervised by the military, aims to harness the country’s untapped potential in key sectors through local development and foreign investments mainly from the gulf countries.
However, critics say that no economic plan is likely to work until the country first puts an end to the political instability, which has compound in the wake of an unprecedented crackdown on the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). They also say that the PDM leadership and its allies like the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) fail to boost the confidence of many of the general Pakistanis as well as businesspeople and investors because of the baggage of the past. Most faces in the government stand compromised because of the allegations of massive corruption and although many of them have got a relief in a sudden change of fortunes, they have failed to win the confidence of the vast number of Pakistanis.
Following are the official figures of some of the key macro-economic indicators shared by the government in the recent days:
Pakistan’s Key Economic Indicators Under the PDM Govt.
FY23 (First 11 months) VS FY22 (First 11 months)
Growth 0.29% 6.10%
GDP Size $342 bn $375 bn
Per-capita Income $1,568 $1,766
Inflation 29.20% 12.10%
Rupee Depreciation 39% 11.0%
Public Debt Rs60.7trn Rs49.2trn
Exports – 13% or down by $3.49bn to 25.794
Remittances – 12.8 % or down by $3.65bn to $24.832