Motivated by the desire to remain a part of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin unveiled a new economic plan for 14 particular sectors of the economy. The overarching objective has been highlighted to be encouraging sustainable and inclusive growth. Fortunately, it seems as though the government has refrained from making ambitious promises to completely revolutionise the country economically.
The new economic strategy is finally looking to conclude the promise of the privatisation of the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) which has been causing a major dent in the country’s financial reserves. This will leave plenty of room for the government to focus on different sectors and work towards encouraging their development. The Economic Advisory Council (EAC) is striving to incorporate more technology, improving research institutes and offering reduced rates to farmers to drive higher productivity within the agricultural sector, further decreasing levels of inflation and food insecurity within the country.
Similarly, the manufacturing sector has been performing rather well recently and the new economic plan aims to build upon this progress by encouraging small enterprises through incentives like tax cuts and subsidies which will bring us closer to becoming an exporting country.
Through fixing our balance of trade, we may even earn enough to resolve debt issues—especially considering that the government plans to maintain the economic output of remittances by aiding international citizens through making the process of transfers much easier.
Even the insistence to focus on generating energy through renewable sources is going to decrease our dependence on expensive imports like petroleum and LNG. This reflects the long-term thinking that has gone into devising the economic plan and is bound to improve position within the next few years, provided we remain true to execution.
Through all these steps, the broad objective of the government is to bring the economic growth rate up to 6 percent from the existing 3 percent within the next 3 years. This is a reasonable target. However, there are a lot of gaps to cover. Inflation is something the government has been unable to control, alongside outflows in the way of imports. Contending with these issues will remain a significant challenge and will require careful manoeuvring.