The Pakistani government is claiming that special attention is being paid to improve the country’s tax system and trade, increase investment to strengthen the country’s economy which is in crisis since the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has taken over.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that it is now forced to accept the terms of international lending institutions, especially the IMF in order to save the country from a long-term crisis. Referring to the state bank’s statistics In a TV program “People’s Questions” on April 4 Imran Khan said $18 billion were sent by Pakistanis living abroad to their families in Pakistan.
In response to a telephone call about the loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Khan claimed that the country’s economy was now growing. “When the IMF lends, they say, ‘OK, now you’re going to do this to pay off my debt. Now, by the grace of God, we’re better than we were five years ago. Seven months ago, we had over 20 billion current account deficit but it’s positive.”
Prior to the terms of the IMF loan program, governments raised the prices of daily necessities, such as electricity, gas, and food, so that it meets the debt deadline. In February this year, the then Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh told parliament that Pakistan have borrowed $34 trillion from the world.
Anwar Shah, a professor at Islamabad International University and an economist, said it is time for Pakistan to take steps to improve its economy, rather than blindly following the conditions of its creditors. “The government spends more but has low income due to which it has to borrow loans,” he told Mashal Radio. He said that still most of the population doesn’t pay enough taxes. He said that there is no proper lending system for the general public to start small businesses in the country.
Over the past couple of years, Pakistan’s exports have decreased as compared to exports that badly hurt the country’s economic growth. According to the Bureau of Statistics, Pakistan exported $3.4 billion worth of goods to Afghanistan in 2010, but now it has reduced to justice $800 million.
Zahid Shinwari, a member of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Mashal Radio that Pakistan’s economy could recover if it resolved trade issues with its neighbor, Afghanistan. Shinwari added: “The biggest issue to trade between the two countries is the transit trade agreement, which was signed ten years ago. It needs to be renewed to create a conducive environment for trade. “