Positive economic indicators

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FINALLY after facing a tough situation for about one and a half year, present government has been able to put the economic indicators on positive trajectory. One needs to acknowledge that to reach this stage, the government really has to take very difficult and unpopular political decisions.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, the country’s exports of goods during November 2019 increased by 9.6% to $2.02 billion while import declined by 17.53% to $3.815 billion over corresponding month of last year. Adviser on Finance Hafeez Sheikh, in a tweet, also referred to the bullish trend being witnessed in the stock market which registered a rise of 10,500 points from August to November this year. This really shows that the confidence of investors is restoring in Pakistani market. Credit for these positive developments goes to the economic team which, off and on, had to face criticism because in this process of fixing the chronic problems, the people at large borne the brunt of difficult decisions such as increase in the prices of utility bills. However, the way the government is moving ahead, we are sure the good days are ahead during which the relief will also be provided to the masses especially the lower and middle income groups. Revenue collection in November also grew by 17% but this figure is still short by Rs 48 billion and the revenue shortfall this fiscal year has climbed to Rs 211 billion. One cannot ignore the efforts being put in by Chairman FBR Shabbar Zaidi to promote tax payment culture in Pakistan but the recent protests of traders is a testimony to the fact that our people are not ready to fulfil their responsibility. Anyway, the FBR must continue its efforts to bring the affluent class into the tax net, and at the same time it is also for the government to think beyond the deficits. As the situation stands improved, it must increase development spending and reduce the interest rate in order to trigger economic activity in the country. Doing this will not only create job opportunities but will also help the government increase its revenue. Focus must remain on the development of agriculture and industrial sectors to achieve a sustainable growth rate.