This refers to Iftikhar Murshed’s column ‘The PTI’s economic illusions’ (Sept 9). While I agree with some of his points, I believe that the PTI’s plan can cure some of the fundamental ailments afflicting our economy. In every economic plan there are trade-offs: where and how much to spend, for example. In such cases the priorities become important.
The PTI has some very brilliant minds in its economic team who should work to strengthen investors’ confidence thereby increasing the much-needed foreign investment which in turn will create more jobs. Lastly, it would be interesting to see if Murshad comes up with a similar analysis of the economic plans of the PML-N and the PPP.
Muhammad Tayyab Chaudhry
This is apropos of S Iftikhar Murshed’s article ‘The PTI’s economic illusions’. Although some of the flaws pointed out by Murshed hold substance, his all-out disregard for the PTI’s policies on energy and tax evasion in particular makes his analysis deeply biased and his criticism unfounded. Economic restructuring requires establishment of commercial, legal and institutional entities that permit the economy to operate freely and encourage foreign investment. That is exactly what the PTI’s senior leadership intends to do – to encourage foreign investments by formulating investor-friendly policies. The PTI’s plans in fact remind one of Mahatir Muhamamd’s economic reforms from 1981-2003. Malaysia’s rapid economic growth and its status of being the ‘fifth Asian tiger’ did not come overnight. It was years of planning and realisation of ground realities in policy formulation that led the country to where it is today.
In the PTI’s plan, placing energy at the top makes perfect sense but focusing on Thar coal, given the environmental implications, infrastructure development, industry’s acceptability to switch to coal, without a fallback action could be a recipe for disaster. Other renewable energy options such as wind, solar and steps to improve the existing generation capacity should be also given importance. Moreover, it would’ve been more fruitful if experienced professionals from the energy field had been called out to share their concerns and provide value addition to the whole policy formulation process. The vision and sincerity of the PTI in bringing the country out of its multiple crises are unquestionable but what remains to be seen is whether a relatively young party, that has united seasoned politicians of varied types, succeeds in unifying a dejected and despondent populace or not.
Muhamamd Jalal Awan