Pakistan needs a real plan to prevent economic disaster: PEW

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Saturday said the country needs a real plan to avert the looming economic disaster.

At this critical juncture the country needs a bailout package to remain afloat, followed by a new strategic trade policy designed after consultation with all the stakeholders which can fix economic problems through exports, it said.

Islamabad needs to consider a more strategic trade policy resulting in aggressive exports to make the economy self-reliant on a sustainable basis, said PEW President Dr Murtaza Mughal.

“All the political parties seem to be focused on petty issues and unconcerned about the economic mess as the current account deficit for the FY2018 has touched $18 billion which was $4.87 billion two years ago”, he added.

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Dr Murtaza Mughal said that during the last two years policymakers failed to check imports which jumped to $66.2 billion in FY2018 to reverse the economic gains and erode forex reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to below $9 billion.

Rapid devaluation and other measures increased exports by $2.7 billion which was not enough as exchange rate erosion took a toll on masses and added trillions of rupees to the debt burden, he observed.

The increase in exports failed to keep pace with the increased imports and the economy continued to consume $1.5 billion per month throughout the year.

Imposition of regulatory duty on many importable items and half-hearted measures of the State Bank has only resulted in high inflation and uncertainty.

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