Sunday, July 14, 2024

Why Pakistan’s Economic Policies Require a Dramatic and Thoughtful Redesign

The predictability of Pakistan’s economy is a major topic of interest for many, and regularly sparks discussions on various forums. In such a time, analyzing where Pakistan is headed if things remain unchanged allows for an insightful discourse.

To start discussions on this subject afresh, an event was held in Islamabad which was attended by high-profile personalities such as President of Pakistan H.E. Dr. Arif Alvi; Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif; Former COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa; Finance Minister Ishaq Dar as well as Former Senator and Federal Minister Javed Jabbar among many others.

This was the third iteration of Margalla Dialogue – an annual event organized by the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) – where top thinkers and leaders from around the world gather every year to push forward Pakistan’s narrative on key issues through dialogue on critical national, regional, and global issues.

One of the event’s highlights this year was a session titled ‘Pakistan at 100’, in which Ali J. Siddiqui, Pakistan’s Former Ambassador to the USA, presented an analysis of Pakistan’s economic growth as compared to its neighboring and peer countries.

He shared that at 100, Pakistan’s GDP per capita is expected to grow by 3.5 times which in comparison to peer countries falls short by up to 12 times the growth rate. In contrast, Iran is expected to grow by 6 times, and Bangladesh expected to grow by 12 times over the next 25 years.

Ali elaborated that by the time Pakistan is 100, its population will be 55% more than today and all these other countries will be between 10 and 20 percent larger in terms of population. Due to this, Pakistan will only be able to spend a fraction of what its peers spend on healthcare, education, nutrition, basic necessities, or improvement in life span and quality of life by the time it turns 100.

He said that with the current growth rate and policies, our share of world prosperity stays the same and is shared with more people. This means that our citizens will not be as better off as those in peer countries.

He concluded his analysis by stating that despite already being decades behind, 25 years of effort can solve this significantly.

Bold steps need to be taken on tax and a variety of other areas. “It is time for a dramatic and thoughtful redesign of all of our economic policies including tax and public finances,” he commented.

We hope that these comments are taken in stride and the country’s policymakers take the necessary steps which accelerate Pakistan’s economic growth.

Ali Siddiqui is a Pakistani diplomat and entrepreneur, who has served as the Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States. He has also served in various business and government advisory councils, policy institutions and commercial entities, including JS Bank.

Related Articles

Latest Articles