The most recent roots of Pakistan’s economic crisis emerged in decisions that were not taken in August 2018. The center of the current economic tsunami, rested in the first nine or 10 months of the previous government, made worse by the absence of leadership at the economic helm. Things only got worsen as the months progressed, but there was actually no remedial measures taken in subsequent months.
In his election campaign PTI chairman Imran Khan made corruption and accountability his lead slogan. He promised to get refund of black money, reduction of external debts, one crore jobs, fifty lakh houses and gave hope to people of Pakistan that his government will be beginning of a new era of economic growth. But what he delivered was highest debt Rs 22000 Billion in three and a half years. Zero results on accountability rather his accountability minister has been found committing mal practices. After the formation of Imran Khan’s government, Imran seemed to stick to his promise for a few days, but then the same thing happened, which was feared. Went to IMF, took loan, inflation increased instead of decreasing. Instead of improving, the economy got worse. Imran Khan was the head of a coalition government, but he failed to get the other parties together with him. His relations with the opposition were worst in history. Imran Khan’s government failed in every way in foreign policy. There was no warmth from Arab countries, US and China both were not happy. Ban on media houses was worst ever policy during Imran’s era.
PTI Government met its fate due to economic failure. There is no outside conspiracy as it has been proved now. Political instability overpowered all other issues faced by Imran Khan. Right from day one, he was more focused on napping N-league leadership. Economic management in PTI government’s three years has been influenced by ‘imported’ ideas. Two failed ventures – the chicken breeding program for poverty alleviation and ‘Sarmaya-e-Pakistan’ – amply reflect this fact. The former was inspired by Bill Gates’ advocacy, while the latter was inspired by the Malaysian success in turning around its loss-making public entities. PTI government’s major weakness was its unrealistic proclamations before coming to power, assuring the people that it had a set program of reforms and a capable team ready to set the economic direction right. Three years down the line, it’s clear that they neither had a team nor a program. In promising outlandish and unrealistic scenarios, the PTI dug itself a hole from which it will be difficult to come out till it remains in power.Inflation remained unmanaged, and has been a continuous blot on the PTI’s economic team’s performance.
Dr Monis Ahmar wrote in his column that the prevailing price hike in the country has broken the record of the last 70 years. According to the Federal Bureau of Statistics, in the last three years, electricity tariff has risen by 57%; petroleum products have become dearer by 49%; and the rate of edible oil has soared 133%, sugar 83%, 20 kg flour bag 52%, chicken 60%, and beef 48%. Likewise, prices of milk, lentils and medicines have risen sharply. The value of the dollar against the rupee has risen from Rs121 to Rs173. And against all this, the gap in income and expenditure for the lower class and the middle class has augmented.
After the first devaluation by PTI govt, Khurram Hussain in his article in dawn that it is first jolt. He said second devaluation which was considerably more disorderly in the wild swings its generated, and accompanied by one of the sharpest interest rate hikes in many years (frankly I can’t recall the last time we saw a 150 basis point hike in a single stroke since 2008), has jolted the economy and the government alike.