Who will check burgeoning debt?

THOUGH government’s economic reforms programme has somewhat improved the economy but still there are issues that the finance team will have to look into to ensure sustainable macroeconomic stability and poverty alleviation. One such issue is our ever-swelling debt. According to reports every Pakistani owes over Rs 115,000 as the country’s pile of total debt and liabilities increased to Rs 23.14t by the end of December 31, 2016.
The debt pile has worrisome implications. If the pace of borrowing remained unchecked the size of the debt would become unmanageable for Pakistan to service its debt obligations. Rising debt is also a threat to macroeconomic stability and hence to growth, employment generation and poverty alleviation. After assuming power, we understand the present government had no option but to go for an IMF programme to pay outstanding foreign loans, but time has come to take some tough decisions in order to put the country on the path of self-reliance. The foremost amongst them is increasing the tax to GDP ratio by enhancing the ratio of direct taxes. Without bringing affluent class under tax net, we will never be able to stand on our own feet but our begging bowl will continue to expand. We should also offer better incentives and facilities to overseas Pakistanis in order to attract their invaluable remittances besides diversifying our export basket by extending support to different industries and agriculture. Last but not the least our rulers must adopt austerity measures and shun extravagant lifestyle so that this money could be used for the well-being of common man.

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