Pak economy steadily improving: IMF

KARACHI: Pakistan’s economy is steadily improving, said Resident Mission Chief of the IMF, Dr. Tokhir Mirzonev.

He was speaking at a seminar organized by University’s Applied Economic Research Centre (AERC), a Karachi University statement on Thursday said.

It said that Dr. Tokhir called for removal of subsidies in the public sector. Dr. Tokhir Mirzoev, stated that there was no possibility of default in the near future as the country’s economy was steadily improving.

He said that in 2016, Pakistan’s economic growth rate is 4.6 per cent while India leads the region with 7.5 per cent; Bangladesh interestingly has a better growth rate of 6.8 per cent from China’s growth rate of 6.3 per cent.

Inflation rate and budget deficit has also declined which is a sign of economic growth. Tax revenue collection has improved and rose to 11 % still it must be raised to at least 20 per cent, he added.

IMF programme in Pakistan started in 2013 to help the country get out of the financial crisis and out of 6.7 billion dollars; 5.2 billion dollars are disbursed till yet.

The programme has structural reform priorities in the sectors of energy, tax to GDP ratio, privatization of public sector enterprises and lastly improving the business climate and environment.

The IMF Resident Chief added that Pakistan’s foreign debt is around 64 percent of its total GDP which is not a very concerning ratio, many states have more debt ratios in this regard but Pakistan has to take advantage of the significant opportunity of low oil prices by reforming the energy sector.

UK, Turkey, Korea and many European states have remained on IMF relief programmes and now they are progressing. He said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a big opportunity for boosting Pakistan’s economy. Dean Faculty of Social Sciences Karachi University, Prof. Dr. Moonis Ahmar, said that policy of self-reliance is pivotal for economic uplift.

He said that China and India followed the policy of self-reliance and now they are the world’s most progressing economies. Tax to GDP ratio, exports must increase in order to strengthen the economy as current exports are 25 billion dollars while Bangladesh earns 25 billion dollars only through its garments exports out of its total exports of 30 billion dollars. APP