Another bailout in the offing

AS the country is passing through political transition, it is also faced with serious economic challenges. With foreign exchange reserves hovering between nine and ten billion dollars, the country is again left with no option but to seek another bailout package from its old lender the IMF.
Reportedly, a technical assistance team of the International Monetary Fund also just concluded its weeklong visit to the federal capital which gauged the macroeconomic situation of the country. Also on Friday, the National Security Committee – the join forum of the civilian and military leadership – was also given a presentation on the deteriorating macroeconomic situation by the ministry of finance. Indeed these are troubling times for the caretakers as on the one hand they have to ensure the smooth and peaceful conduct of the general election whilst on the other hand it has also to ensure some sort of stability on the economic front. This is the reason that despite concerns at the public level, the caretaker government passed on the burden of rupee depreciation and increasing international oil prices to the public. Though the exact figure is not available but to give some stability to the foreign reserves, the country has also got some loans from Chinese banks. Some put the figure between four and five billion dollars. The situation speaks volume that the successive governments failed to address the chronic economic issues of the country and that is the reason after a period of every four or five years, the government is left with no option but to knock at the doors of the lenders. Pakistan indeed has seriously fallen into debt trap with each year the burden further rising and ultimately the sufferers are the common people. Given the current situation, the next government definitely will have to seek the bailout package in order to pay back the foreign liabilities. But time has come that our governments give serious consideration and frame policies that steer the country out of this debt trap. This can only be achieved by enhancing our revenue and bringing more people into the tax net besides enhancing the exports by bringing in much needed value addition to the products. We also need to give confidence and facilitation to our overseas Pakistanis so that they invest in different sectors of Pakistan especially the IT as it will not only help generate hundreds of thousands of job opportunities but also increase in IT related exports will help address economic woes of the country.

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