Time to purge country of political instability for economic progress

Shahrukh Syed

The sanity prevails at last. Thanks to the timely intervention of honorable Supreme Court that has ended the week long political turmoil emerged out of PanamaLeaks controversy by saying it is going to constitute the judicial commission to probe the matter.
The uncertainty triggered out of PanamLeaks issue has hit Pakistan Stock Exchange with market capitalizations loss of $3 billion just in a span of 7 days. Now the turbulence seems over and normalcy is fast returning which is good omen for maintaining the economic gains achieved by the present government.
There is no denying the fact that political instability has inflicted huge loss to country’ economy. Since the emergence of Pakistan, the political turbulence continues to hit the country in various eras.
The country like Pakistan that is often exposed to the political upheavals and uncertainty, has to pay more the risk premium on investment to investors and interest on loans if compared with India and Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Likewise, the country has to pay more in the heads of interests against the loans arranged from international markets. “So much so the insurance risk also increases.
Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSE) plunged by 2000 points amid the political turmoil triggered out of Islamabad blocked campaign owing to which market capitalization suffered the blow of $3 billion. Concerns over domestic politics as were enough to make investors jittery during the period of turmoil.
On Tuesday, the stock exchange remained bearish, but when the news about the Supreme Court’s decision under which judicial commission will be constituted on PanamaLeaks came in, the PSE turned bully. Now the political mayhem is over and it is hoped that the stock exchange will start recovering the loss of $3 billion on account of positive macroeconomic indicators.
Now it is high time to sign the charter of economy by all the stakeholders so that political ventures and instability could be averted once for all
Pakistan’s economic outlook has improved during the last three years government and this has been acknowledged by major international financial institutions that have say in the global economy.
And in latest development Standard & Poor’s on November 1, 2016 improved Pakistan’s long-term credit rating from B-to-B with stable outlook by high lighting the facts that Pakistan continues to benefit from improving governance under the present Government of the Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. The government’s reform program has helped to restore macro-economic stability, reduce fiscal and external vulnerabilities, and promote growth-supporting reforms that have the potential to improve living standards.
The financial Institution like IMF, is showering praise on Pakistan’s economic outlook with certain reservations. IMF says that it is satisfied over three years progress of Pakistan’s economy, saying that the country created sufficient buffer stocks on macroeconomic fronts to face risks and also achieved reduction in pace of accumulation of circular debt in the power sector from Rs70-80 billion per annum three years ago to just Rs8 billion in last financial year.
Pakistan’s economy has been put on right direction after three-year programme of IMF as foreign exchange reserves were built up and fiscal position also improved. Load shedding timings have decreased.
Managing Director of the Fund Christine Lagarde has also congratulated Pakistan on successfully completing the IMF-supported economic reforms programme and said this was because of its ownership by the political leadership. She also said that higher and more sustainable growth will also require completing important structural reforms in the energy sector, tax policy and administration, ending losses in public enterprises and making a sustained effort to improve governance and foster a dynamic and export-oriented private sector.”
According to Ms Lagarde, he said, much has been achieved by Pakistan and much more remains to be done, “so this is Pakistan’s moment of opportunity to forcefully address remaining economic challenges and lay the foundation for more private sector job creation and higher living standards for all segments of society”.
Japan external Trade Organization in its survey conducted in 2014 ranked Pakistan second in the world in terms of business growth.
The World Bank has just in its report on Doing Business 2017; Equal Opportunity for All, acknowledged the efforts of the Nawaz government saying that in South Asia, Pakistan, which is among the world’s top 10 improvers, implemented several reforms this past year, as did India and Sri Lanka. The bulk of the business reform activity in the region was aimed at facilitating cross-border trade. However, Afghanistan and Pakistan, stipulate additional hurdles for women entrepreneurs.
All will go in vain if the country continues to face any kind of instability. No doubt the sitting government is on its toes to increase the exports and to this effect a package is being fine-tuned to give stimulus to the exports which are on the decline. The Nawaz government is now geared up for providing the health facilities to the people of Pakistan and in the next budget, the substantial amount will be allocated to improve the social indicators of the country.
Pakistan’s defence will never be ensured if the country’s economic muscle remains week and the solution of all problems that the country is facing not only lies in the sustainable prudent economic policies, but also in their smooth implementation.
Keeping in view the challenges around, the country needs to be purged of any kind of adventures and the authorities’ concerned need to put their all efforts to materialize the CPEC project which is key to the prosperous Pakistan.

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