Masses being misguided on economic development issues: PEW

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said masses are being misled on the issue of economic development which is not the case.

Economy is not developing but going down but the authorities, IMF and international media continue to throw dirt in the eyes of masses, it said. Tall claims and creative accountancy will not change the situation unless bold decisions and painful reforms are undertake for which government seems unwilling, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

Long power outages, grinding poverty, stagnant rural economy, unemployment, institutional and environmental decay, deteriorating standard of living are prime challenges, he added. Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that economic managers repeatedly claim that they saved country from default but it was outcome of 6.7 billion dollar loan agreement with the IMF therefore no one should take credit of it.

Similarly, the forex reserves which were below seven billion dollars in 2013 were boosted with the help of loans while exports have nothing to do with it. He noted that authorities continue to take credit of low inflation which is a global phenomenon resulting with 60 percent reduction in oil prices. Moreover present inflation figures have renewed fears of deflation in Pakistan.

The budget deficit is shown at 5.3 percent due to manipulation of figures and not including circular debt worth Rs 627 billion. Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that real growth rate in Pakistan is not more than 3.2 percent, industrial growth is at 1.1 percent while agricultural sector is growing at a pace of 2.5 percent.

Private sector is not getting loans, exports are dwindling due to increased politics in TDAP, export subsidy is being misused, FDI is as low as $700 million, while situation of job market and energy sector is dismal.

He said that IMF has also started cheating masses on the behest of US which considers political or economic stability in Pakistan against its Afghan mission. Apart from IMF other lenders have been directed to paint a rosy picture of Pakistan’s economy which has badly tarnished their image.