There is no denying the fact that Ishaq Dar is trying to implement the failed policies of the 90s in 2022. During the intermittent governments of the PML-N and the PPP over the past three to four decades, exports dipped while imports soared. Most of the infrastructure projects undertaken by both these parties were failures. Education, development of skills and assimilation of technology were ignored, while the only sector that flourished was real estate, which failed to increase productivity and generate new revenues. During the PML-N’s previous stint in power, the current account deficit reached a then record $19 billion. The culmination of years of economic ineptitude
Agriculture and manufacturing are the critical engines of growth, along with foreign exchange earnings. Our agricultural sector remains primitive, compared to the major economies, highly dependent on imports and efforts to modernize the sector appear to have plateaued. Furthermore, our mismanagement of water and energy supplies has, for now, killed any hopes of reforming agriculture and manufacturing. Ishaq Dar has always avoided carrying out the structural reforms we need, sticking to cosmetic measures that do not lift the economy. If he remains in charge of Pakistan’s finances, he may attain the ignominious distinction of leading Pakistan to default. The incumbent government’s pleas for a rescheduling of debt repayments should set alarm bells ringing. Former FM Miftah Ismail may soon be saying: ‘I told you so’.