Nerve-shattering year for trade
According to a report a trade body consisting on all Pakistan industrialist and traders termed the year 2010 as nerve-shattering for the trade and Industry. At a meeting they were reviewing the revival of Pakistan economy during the year 2011. Difficulties while doing business during outgoing year discussed that were real hurdles such Power outages, repeated hikes in electricity rates, gas shortage, price spiral, mismanagement and bad governance hit the business hard. There was a consensus during the meeting that in 2010, there was a lack of coherence in the government policies and the things on the economic front went topsy-turvy instead of making any forward movement. Exports went down quantitatively while the situation of new investment was very bleak. Their consensus is right because results of developments in last year are clear. The power tariff registered an upward trend of 67 percent in 2010 while it was almost hundred percent in the last three years. Due to this single reason, Pakistani merchandise failed to get due appreciation at the international market and the neighboring countries made huge gains as the rate of electricity for the industry in Bangladesh is 9.5 cents, in India it is 9 cents against a rate of 13 cents in Pakistan. It was revealed in the meeting that the entire trade and industry suffered heavy losses in 2010. No doubt these are all realities. Now businessmen are urging the government to declare the year 2011 as the Year of Power Generation and initiate work on mega water projects including Kalabagh Dam. There is dire need for bringing down the rate of inflation and State Bank of Pakistan should divert its attention towards banking spread that is intolerable and taking the equity away from the reach of the business community. There was a dire need to take corrective measures and focus shift on the part of the government as the Reformed General Sales tax would complicates the things beyond expectations of the government. It would be better for the policy makers if they concentrate on increasing Tax-to-GDP ratio which is lowest in Pakistan. Government has failed to take appropriate measures for the economic revival.