Editorial : More bad news - Monday, April 11, 2011

The State Bank of Pakistan has stated in its second report for 2011 that the economy can expect to face still harder times than is currently the case, mainly because of a continued rise in global oil prices. This essentially means that inflation will continue and has been anticipated by the SBP to stand at around 14 or 15 percent. For the average Pakistani, this is obviously not good news. As things stand, rising prices have affected almost every sector of society and left many less and less able to acquire even the basic needs of their households. The threat of a still tougher future is not comforting. While there has recently been a shimmer of better news on the economic horizon, with the rupee rallying marginally and some possibility of a tax on agriculture, this is not enough to dispel the dark clouds that hang over people’s lives. As the SBP report points out, continued political uncertainty is one factor that brings them floating across the sky and is blocking the sunshine. There is, for now, no evidence that this uncertainty will be reduced in the coming months. Poor governance and almost perpetual crises in many spheres of life have aggravated the situation. There is no visible attempt to tackle this issue or deal with the consequences that arise from it.

But for the sake of our future as a nation, for the sake of our people, we do need to seek out solutions. Political and economic issues need to be considered together given the degree to which they influence each other. Most of us know quite well what the problems are. These have been identified many times over and at many different forums. Economic paralysis is an ailment we have lived with for some time now. What we need now is the establishment of a panel of experts that can put forward suggestions on how to resolve the problem and move towards recovery. Other countries with fewer resources than us have after all fared better than we have. In light of the latest SBP report and other grim forecasts of our economic future, we need to know what solutions are available, so that the government can be pressured to move towards them effectively and decisively. Unless this happens, we will continue to hear only bad news and will have no insight into how things can be turned around.

Source : http://thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=41077&Cat=8

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