The IMF factor: Can Pakistan sustain economic growth without IMF assistance?
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2016-05-17 13:20:49

The IMF factor: Can Pakistan sustain economic growth without IMF assistance?

imf and pak

 

Pakistan and International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday successfully completed the 11th review of Extended Fund Facility for release of $510 million to Pakistan by the fund board.Talking to media persons after a successful review, Finance Minister Senator Muhammad Ishaq dar said that the talks had been successful. He said that the economic indicators had been positive and Pakistan also succeeded in scaling down the fiscal deficit. Dar informed that Pakistan would set an ambitious growth target of 6 per cent during the upcoming financial year (2016-17). He said that due to low cotton production, the country might somehow miss the growth target, but he expressed the hope that 5 per cent target would be achieved. The minister said that the country achieved 4.2 per cent growth in 2015 which was highest in last seven years. He said that by overcoming the challenges of security and energy, the country’s economy has the potential to grow at 7 per cent adding that the government was working to improve these conditions to further consolidate the economy. This was the first time, after all, that Dar sb did not have to request a downward revision of practically all important indicators and targets. Also, while the macroeconomic stability cannot really be questioned technically, perhaps the Fund went a little too far about the ‘robust growth’. It could have looked around the region for a better understanding. Also, it’s not quite clear what the donor meant by ‘challenging external environment’. The outside factor has, in fact, been quite favourable for much of the present cycle. If anything, it bears noting that the Brent collapse, and subsequent low inflation and billions in savings for the exchequer, still only managed 4.5 percent growth; not to mention a fragile deficit. That latter, too, was appreciated beyond merit. And if investment is actually ‘rising’, then why not mention much beyond CPEC?

Another thing the appraisal did not mention was the likely trend ahead. The ruling party has already gone into a premature election campaigning mode. That, by necessity, puts pressure on the kitty; and therefore on the deficit that, though ‘under control’, is by no means pretty. One reason donors like to wrap up programs like the Facility on a cheerful note is to increase chances of another in the near future. Once the election is over and the reserves in the red again, Islamabad will have little option but to return to the IMF. And then everyone can look forward to uplifting appraisals, etc. Meantime the ‘macroeconomic stability’ does nothing for real internal investment, savings, etc, and the ‘consolidation’ remains static.

pk.shafaqna.com

 

Categories:   Pakistan ، Business ،
Tags:   pakistan ، Ishaq Dar ، IMF ،
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