Re­viv­ing the econ­omy

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

The chal­lenges fac­ing the new PTI gov­ern­ment are enor­mous. The need of the hour is to put the na­tional econ­omy on a high eco­nomic growth path in real terms based on ac­tual and ad­vanced pro­duc­tiv­ity tra­jec­tory in each sec­tor of the na­tional econ­omy. The prob­lems need to be tack­led through mas­sive re­forms, cou­pled with short term and long term ac­tion plans free of "babu cul­ture" and with a strong po­lit­i­cal will at the top to im­ple­ment them. This alone can gen­er­ate real wealth for the na­tional econ­omy to pay off the cur­rent pub­lic debt li­a­bil­i­ties in a few years and make Pak­istan eco­nom­i­cally self-reliant in the near fu­ture.

No pol­icy or re­forms pack­age can be im­ple­mented with ef­fec­tive re­sults with­out cut­ting the bu­reau­cratic red-tape. Our bu­reau­cracy is cor­rupt to the core area that eats away the ef­fects of all good poli­cies and plans. Ser­vices re­forms based on re­sults achieve­ments and mar­ket ori­en­ta­tion, are needed to meet the chal­lenges of pub­lic wel­fare, ac­count­abil­ity and free­dom from cor­rup­tion. About forty per­cent of the bud­get is wasted through red-tapism, de­layed and costs es­ca­lated projects and cor­rup­tion. This needs dras­tic re­forms.

Agri­cul­tural and in­dus­trial pro­duc­tiv­ity is the most vi­tal need to add real na­tional wealth. Fast track GDP growth strate­gies and im­ple­men­ta­tion plans are sine qua non to high growth tar­gets achieve­ments. In this con­nec­tion, the roles of agri­cul­tural and in­dus­trial pro­duc­tiv­ity in­dices are very vi­tal. Presently these pa­ram­e­ters are very low in our na­tional econ­omy. This re­quires nec­es­sary re­forms pack­age and prag­matic poli­cies to en­hance pro­duc­tiv­ity lev­els in agri­cul­ture and in­dus­try. Cost of pro­duc­tion needs to be cut through mod­ern tech­nolo­gies. In­no­va­tion and tech­nol­ogy up-gra­da­tion are needed, based on in­ter­na­tional mod­els. Re­search and De­vel­op­ment plays a mas­sive role in boost­ing in­dus­trial and agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tiv­ity

Ag­gres­sive in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion poli­cies are needed to be launched in the SME sec­tors and large in­dus­tries fo­cus­ing on ex­ports ori­en­ta­tion. This alone would help achieve high growth tar­gets. It would be ad­vis­able to set up pub­lic sec­tor com­pa­nies to en­sure timely im­ple­men­ta­tion of in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion pro­grams based on sim­pli­fied pro­ce­dures and up­dated method­olo­gies.Agri­cul­ture is the main­stay of our econ­omy. On the ba­sis of con­sul­ta­tion with all stake hold­ers and agri­cul­tural ex­perts, com­pre­hen­sive agri­cul­ture Re­forms Poli­cies need to be in­tro­duced with the fol­low­ing ob­jec­tives: to achieve higher per acre yields, to im­prove qual­ity of agri­cul­tural prod­ucts, to boost ex­ports, to in­tro­duce new crops, farmer em­pow­er­ment and train­ing, and to strengthen the Agri­cul­ture Ex­ten­sion Pro­grams so that they reach the farm­ers ef­fec­tively.

Tech­nol­ogy ad­vance­ments are fast mod­i­fy­ing pub­lic sec­tor, in­dus­trial and agri­cul­tural method­olo­gies world­wide. In­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies are play­ing a piv­otal role. Re­sul­tantly higher ef­fi­cien­cies, costs re­duc­tion and value ad­di­tion in op­er­a­tions are be­ing achieved. In Pak­istan also, up­dated tech­nolo­gies, new or­gan­i­sa­tion and man­age­ment meth­ods and global stan­dards need to be in­tro­duced to achieve higher na­tional growth in each sec­tor of na­tional econ­omy. Our R&D or­gan­i­sa­tions have so far failed to achieve mar­ket driven re­sults in the ab­sence of pub­lic pri­vate part­ner­ship. A high lit­er­acy rate and good qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion is the key to long term growth and strong econ­omy. En­hanced eco­nomic re­sources and allocations for ed­u­ca­tion­can help boost lit­er­acy rates. All eco­nom­i­cally self-reliant na­tions in the world to­day have high lit­er­acy rates.Pak­istan'sex­ports lev­els have been go­ing down. To ar­rest the de­cline, the fo­cus should be more on value-added ex­ports, es­pe­cial­lyengi­neer­ing goods and ma­chin­ery which have high ex­port po­ten­tial. At the same time, new mar­kets for en­hanc­ing ex­ports need to be ex­plored. Ex­perts are of the opin­ion that with good plan­ning and con­stant ef­forts, Pak­istan can dou­ble its ex­port earn­ings in a few years.

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