Miftah terms self-reliance, export promotion as pre-requisites for progress

Inflow of dollars has increased by around $800m, says Miftah

APP August 17, 2022
Mifath ismail addressing a summit


Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Wednesday highlighted that self-reliance, export promotion, farm productivity enhancement and education of children are the four basic principles to lead the country towards growth and development.

Addressing the ‘Leaders in Islamabad Business Summit’ Miftah said, “Pakistan is not where it should have been, according to the vision of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah”.

“There is a dire need to identify the mistakes that affected Pakistan’s progress as compared to the other countries,” added Miftah.

He also identified key principles to lead the country towards progress which include ‘living within means’ highlighting that "unless the income matches the expenditures, the country cannot progress".

“The country had witnessed huge debt burdens, including last year’s Rs5200b deficit, while it remained approximately Rs3500b per year for last four years. The deficit was recorded at Rs1600b per annum during the five years of PML-N government and it was even less during PPP's government.”

“The debt has more than doubled during the past four years, however, it would be contained at Rs4000b during the current year. The country had to borrow Rs4000b from other countries to meet its expenditures,” claimed Miftah.

Read: Miftah agrees to rationalise taxes

"If the debt has been utilised for enhancing productivity then that's not a problem, however when there is no productivity then the debt only burdens the generations," said the finance minister. 

Miftah also added that “due to the measures introduced by the incumbent government, the inflow of dollars has increased by around $800m compared to outflows during the current month.”

“There’s an extreme need to focus on enhancing exports from the country by diversifying the field. No heed was paid to this sector as the exports from the country did not witness any substantial growth during past eleven years, it only receded in terms of quantity. The government has introduced an import substitution initiative besides taking measures to encourage companies to export 10% of their production,” he added.

Another point that he raised was about enhancing agriculture productivity as it is imperative for progress.

“The country was witnessing around 15% wheat harvesting losses whereas it had to import 1.1m tons of grains worth $450m to meet its requirement. Instead of importing, if proper attention is given to agriculture and harvesting, losses could be curtailed, thus resulting in a reduced import bill.”

He also highlighted the importance of differentiating between 'rural' and 'urban' poverty and the importance of making strategies that would make the poor people rich, instead of making the rich people even richer.

Talking about the fourth principle, Miftah said, “Educating the children is very important, every 10th uneducated child in the world was Pakistani as half of the country's children are out of school. Since 1970, governments have failed to provide quality education, and even the private sector could not deliver, though there are certain exceptions. If children are properly educated it would resolve problems of coming generations."


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