Prop­erty boom, an op­por­tu­nity

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL - Con­tin­ued from front page

The Karachi mafia feels slightly safer now that the ter­ror­ist threat, in part lu­bri­cated by oil money and ter­ri­tory fights, has re­ceded and the short-term prof­its can be seen. The Is­lam­abad prices in­creases can be ex­plained by the im­mense amount of money that 'leaks through' of­fi­cial projects which is now find­ing for­eign havens a bit dif­fi­cult to find.

La­hore sort of av­er­ages out, part dodgy fi­nance money find­ing its way into prop­erty ( which is a good de­vel­op­ment) and part be­ing un­paid taxes. The same is true of cities like Gu­jran­wala, Multan and Sialkot, which in a way uses such money as work­ing cap­i­tal now that the govern­ment is suck­ing al­most all bank money for in­fras­truc­tur- al projects, which will en­sure fu­ture elec­toral prospects.

But this means that it also dis­torts our so­cial fab­ric. We have seen all forms of di­ver­sity be­ing pun­ished. Rulers find di­ver­sity dif­fi­cult to han­dle, which in turn leads oth­er­wise rea­son­able peo­ple to re­sort to not telling the full truth.

So in an in­di­rect man­ner the out­come of fall­ing oil prices is cre­at­ing eco­nomic cri­sis which could, if we be­lieve that tra­di­tional eco­nomic the­ory still works in this mod­ern age, to fu­ture wars on a lim­ited scale. Pak­istan has just been through a scathing 25 years and fi­nally with prop­erty prices shoot­ing through the sky, the medium- term prospects have to be pos­i­tive.

But pos­i­tive they will be only if con­di­tions within the coun­try are cre­ated, by sen­si­ble fis­cal moves and not mon­e­tary ex­pan­sion, so that in­stead of prop­erty

their in­vestors feel safe by in­vest­ing in man­u­fac­tur­ing and the ser­vice in­dus­try that must ac­com­pany such man­u­fac­tur­ing. Our peo­ple must travel the world for or­ders like the In­di­ans and Chi­nese do. They must also have a grow­ing in­dus­trial base to match.

That is why the prop­erty boom in Pak­istan could be turned to the ad­van­tage of our coun­try. There is a need to make sure that our cot­ton, leather, foods and other agri­cul­tural base that feed the man­u­fac­tur­ing process are strength­ened.

Mind you the oil pro­duc­ers, at present en­e­mies, will very soon join hands to raise prices. The oil boom is not here to stay. That is why by the time prices be­gin to rise again, Pak­ista­nis must move their money from prop­erty to man­u­fac­tur­ing. Re­mem­ber, there is al­ways an op­por­tu­nity avail­able, and for Pak­istan this is the time to make, for a change, a sen­si­ble move.

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