LAHORE : The PTI government needs to take practical steps to get rid of loans and make the country financially independent for which China, Taiwan and Malaysia could be followed besides austerity measures and focusing on savings.
These views were expressed by the participants in Jang Economic Session on ‘how to end dependence on foreign loans and aid’. The panellists were Dr Qais Aslam, Ansar Javeed, Rasheed Ahmed, Rukhsana Zafar and Rehmatullah Javeed. The session was hosted by Sikandar Lodhi.
Dr Qais Aslam said that productive use of loans was beneficial for economy while non productive use increased burden on economy and public. He said equal policy should be adopted for all citizens for facilities. He called for effective industrial policy for self-reliance besides giving five percent bonus to overseas Pakistanis for sending remittances through legal channels.
Ansar Javeed said that the government should take unpopular decisions to reduce dependence on loans, encourage local economy and industry and make a clear policy to run affairs without foreign loans. He said non-productive expenditures increased current account and budget deficit while spending on development and defence sectors could not be curtailed. He called for a balanced policy to maintain the demand and supply. He suggested the government to focus on 10 mega cases to discourage corruption and bring remittances through legal channels, instead of giving political statements to bring back money from abroad. He believed that the development projects should not be curtailed as it will adversely impact on economy and poverty alleviation steps. Rasheed Ahmed said that both government and public should mend their ways to increase exports and reduce imports. He said Pakistan was an agricultural country but importing edibles was deplorable. He called for ending use of imported foods, clothing and import only modern machineries. He said self-reliance could be achieved by promoting investments and ease of doing business.
Rukhsana Zafar said that effective policy was required to reduce the imports and increase exports besides adoption of technology, value addition in citrus fruit, rice and textile products to increase exports. She said Pakistan is rich in natural resources and to benefit from it the government needs to promote the local industry. Rehmatullah Javeed said that public pays the loans taken by the state while growth of any country and self-reliance depended on industrialisation. He said since 1970 industrialisation was put on back burner loan burden trapped Pakistan’s economy. He suggested adoption of Singapore, Japan and Korean model of industrialisation.