Hats off to economic team

IT should be a matter of pride for every Pakistani that the leadership qualities and managerial skills of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Governor State Bank of Pakistan Ashraf Mahmood Wathra have been acclaimed globally. While Emerging Markets, the newspaper of the IMF/World Bank Annual Meeting, has declared Senator Ishaq Dar as ‘Finance Minister of the year 2016 for South Asia’, Ashraf Wathra has been named Euromoney’s Central Bank Governor of the Year 2016.
Rhetoric of the critics apart, the fact remains that the present government deserves credit for not only checking the continuous downslide that sent dismaying signals during five years of PPP but also took measures to revive the economy and put it on sound footings. This has not been acknowledged by these publications alone as the bilateral and multilateral donors have all been appreciative of the economic policies of PML-N Government. The completion of IMF programme, for the first time by the country, is yet another manifestation of this reality besides successful launching of Sukuk bonds that have attracted investors from around the globe, a clear indication of their confidence in the policies and programmes of the Government. The credit for all this surely goes to the team manager – Finance Minister Ishaq Dar — who demonstrated firm commitment, vision and determination to take the economy out of woods and take it to the path of satisfactory growth in the face of numerous challenges. In a country where there is no tax culture, he has managed to ensure over sixty percent growth in tax revenue during the last three years, managed inflation, stabilized exchange rate and achieved highest level of foreign exchange reserves. It is not an ordinary achievement that the country is simultaneously financing scores of mega projects, which other governments in the past could not even visualize. Similarly, it has rightly been pointed out that since Wathra became Governor SBP in 2014, Pakistan has been one of the best performing countries in the Euromoney Country Risk rankings. He has worked hard to streamline and improve working of Pakistan’s banking sector. This teamwork has led to the successful re-emergence of Pakistan as a safe and stable country with a promising future and we hope the journey would continue with the same spirit and zeal.

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