Tag Archives: GDP

Pakistan’s economy: Hard times

by Raza Rumi

Two years after the civilian government took office, there are few signs of economic recovery and this does not augur well for the fate of democratic governance in Pakistan. We are somehow doomed to bear the brunt of authoritarian regimes in social and economic terms. By the time a civilian government puts its house in order, the long and short marchers are ready to take over. The story this time has been no exception. Following the trends of the 1960s and the 1980s during the Musharrafian decade, unsustainable growth rates were touted as the raison d’etre for the apparent efficiency of a military regime. It is true that the Musharraf era inducted Pakistan into the globalized economic system, boosted domestic demand for consumer products and attracted huge doses of foreign assistance shortly after the military decided to ditch their erstwhile strategic allies, i.e. the Afghan Taliban. But it left the country in dire straits – bankrupt, politically polarised and mired in the worst inflation of our times.

The signs of economic fatigue and food inflation had appeared during Musharraf’s last year in power. An unprecedented energy crisis also plunged the nation into literal and metaphorical darkness and the global recession caused an economic slowdown all around. Consequently, from the high growth-rate of 6 percent, we were in the lowest growth category, even in the poor South Asia region. A 2.2 percent growth rate implies that our current population increase per annum is untenable. Similarly, the highest ever recorded inflation of nearly 25 percent in 2007-2008 also hit the fixed-income citizenry and the millions of poor, depriving them of basic sustenance. Continue reading

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A response to “The new East India Company”

This article is in response to the criticism of IMF in the earlier article titled “The new East India Company”. I am a critic of IMF’s policies but the earlier article ticked me off as it was based on populist aphorisms with no reference to economics or any stats. I was surprised that it was written by authors claiming to be professors at a prestigious business school, tax consultants and writers of several books.

 History

 In second half of 2008, Pakistan was facing a crisis. Shaukat Tarin came up with three plans notoriously known as Plan A, B and C. ‘Plan’ was a misnomer as in reality they represented a pecking order for our begging bowl. Plan A involved approaching Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank (WB). Plan B consisted of approaching so called friends of Pakistan. Plan C was approaching IMF, the least desirable option. Continue reading

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