Nerve-shat­ter­ing year for trade

The Pak Banker - - 4editorial -

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.

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