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Tuesday April 16, 2024

Self-inflicted pain

April 10, 2019

This refers to the editorial ‘Growing pains’ (Apr 9). Welcome IMF and goodbye self reliance. This is the therapy which the PTI-led government decides after months of procrastination. The IMF assistance is in the form of a loan which is to be repaid later on. This interim support cannot bail out the economy in the absence of crucial reforms. The government’s recourse to the Fund is a self-inflicted path and entails a painful transition without curing the disease.

As mentioned, without exports rebounding, which does not seem to be on the horizon, there is little hope of balancing the external trade and bridging the current account gap. Exports continue to show an unhealthy trend with the month of March 2019 showing a decline over same month last year. Without exports picking up in a big way going forward, the country’s predicament would remain unaddressed. The IMF programme cannot invigorate the export sector. The government has to provide an enabling environment and prudent policies for attracting investment in expanding production capacity of value added manufactures. It had earlier promised a comprehensive industrial policy to boost manufacturing. This has not seen the light of day as yet.

Kulsoom Arif

Karachi