LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz-led government failed to fulfill some promises with regards to economy it made in its manifesto before the elections, revealed a quarterly performance review report on Thursday.
The Jan-Mar 2014 review, conducted by the Policy Research Institute of Market Economy in support with the Center for International Private Enterprise, admitted that however, the present government was moving in the right direction vis-à-vis its economic agenda.
The review gave the government a score of 4.47 out of 10 in the second tracking report on economic revival. In the first tracking report for June-Dec 2013, the government scored 3.17 out of 10.
In energy security, the government’s score was 4.34 out of 10, up four percent from 4.16 earlier.
The mean score in economic revival and energy security was 4.4, indicating a gain of 20 percent from 3.66 clinched in the previous performance review.
The report noted that in its initial nine months, the government had tried to reduce its size and taxation and regulatory burden from the shoulder of the economy.
The researcher, identifying 91 measurable indicators, judged the performance on the basis of three parameters: policy and legislative developments, institutional reforms and implementation.
Of all, 29 indicators saw no improvement in the three months under review, implying that 30 percent of the economic agenda are yet to be realised.
Particularly, in economic revival, sixteen indicators out of 56 are not materialised. On the other hand, thirteen out of 32 indicators in energy security saw no movement.
The government, for example, missed the target of appointing independent and professional boards of the state-owned bodies, mentioned the report.
It may be mentioned that the commission formed for this purpose had suspended its work.
The delay is said to have resulted in murder of merit and strengthening of the state aristocracy leading to non-transparency and corruption.
Too, there is an overstepping to the regulatory and procedural boundaries prescribed by the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority, and the practice is on the rise.
The government is trying to keep various regulatory bodies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and the Competition Commission of Pakistan, two institutions of extraordinary importance, under its sway by bringing both of them out of the purview of the federal commission for selection of heads of public sector organisations.
The report mentioned that the government had failed miserably in tax reforms and reducing tax evasion.
The government got highest 10 out of 10 points on fulfilling its promise of establishment of Pakistan Business and Economic Council, chaired by the Prime Minister with equal membership of public and private sectors, meeting every quarter.
The government earned 6.5 points out of 10 in reducing energy shortage and cost of producing energy as in 2013. Total shortfall in January and March was 4,000 MW.
On public sector’s borrowing, the government earned 8.5 points as in 2013. The government’s borrowing from the State Bank of Pakistan and commercial banks from October 2012 to February 2013 was Rs485 billion. The government borrowing from SBP and commercial banks from October 2013 to February 2014 decreased to Rs184 billion.