Politics must deliver
dus of escaping capital to other countries that offer assured and affordable inputs. Education, when targeted especially, will feed in a knowledgeable and skilled workforce into the economy to sustain it, especially since the economy is sure to change face as nations find their own niche in the global chain. Growth in an economy is built around three fundamental sectors – commodities, manufacturing and services – that enhance production and add to the gross domestic product (GDP) in an economy. In Pakistan’s case all three will need focus and parallel strategies to boost production. Each though should have an enabling policy assistance that assures continuity and enhances the confidence of an investor to act as a trigger in rebounding economy from its dismal state.
Imran Khan’s PTI on the other hand has addressed the full domain of the economy while enunciating a programme similar to any finance minister’s statement to parliament. The PTI’s key facets to spur economy will include education, health, governance, revenue generation and institutional reform. In its detailed explanation it has included energy and other imperatives too, but it remains a broad-based policy statement. Perhaps in a dwindling economy all that the PTI says will be important to address, but where lies its focus? That remains an absent imperative. Pakistan’s economic management has tended to revolve around macroeconomists mostly. Revenue, expenditure, current accounts and foreign reserves have mostly driven such management, perhaps relevant to the thought process of the finance gurus that have run the ministry.
Line ministries such as trade and commerce, water and power, petroleum and natural resources, and agriculture complete the economic mosaic while headed by separate ministers. What has greatly been missing is an integrated, overarching approach of prioritising one over the other without discounting appropriate attention for each, which could help reboot a flagging econo- my with greater robustness.
There is one example that even a directionless PPP government will leave behind that will need to be emulated or bettered, and that is attention to agriculture as a policy. We saw increased commodity prices in this sector that spurred growth, though it did leave some consequent complexities in inflationary trends and needed more lateral linkages to other aspects of the economy before it could be called a comprehensive trigger to rejuvenate a sagging economy.
Also, PPP’s innovation in policy began and ended with this one step of raising prices for agriculture products to bolster the farmer. Beyond this single focus on agricul-