Miftah terms Pakistan’s growth model flawed

Says country doesn’t deserve $80b of imports against $30b each of exports, remittances


Our Correspondent October 04, 2022
Miftah Ismail. PHOTO: PID

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KARACHI:

Former finance minister Miftah Ismail has called Pakistan’s growth model highly flawed, which safeguards manufacturers at the cost of value addition.

Speaking at the 37th Corporate Excellence Awards ceremony, organised by the Management Association of Pakistan (MAP) on Monday, the ex-minister emphasised that with just $30 billion of exports and $30 billion of remittances, Pakistan did not deserve huge imports of $80 billion. “We offer loans to the rich and they give a push to imports, which in turn slows down the economy,” Ismail remarked. “We have to be an export-oriented economy. We haven’t established any brand in exports. We have fundamental issues with our economic policies.”

Besides, he said, it was quite unfortunate that Pakistan was importing cotton, pulses, edible oil and other such things. It should also focus on the development of its agriculture sector, he stressed.

“We are importing even from Ethiopia, which shows that our agriculture production is low and all these imports have been adding to the budget deficit since long.” Ismail pointed out that Pakistan’s current account deficit was feeding into the budget deficit and to bridge that gap the government was taking loans.

“Our private sector does not have the required money to finance the deficit, while our provinces are also not helping in this regard,” he added.

On the other hand, “provinces have increased their payrolls by 400% in the past few years with their officers getting more than 50% higher pay than that received by the officers of federal government”.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2022.

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