Echo Chamber of Economy

Tough international market conditions and difficult loan plans set down by foreign commercial lenders, the first seven months of Pakistan’s fiscal year could not bring the projected loans that the country urgently required. In the challenging econom­ic landscape, any infusion of funds is welcome but the amount that Pakistan could secure in this time period falls short of what is need­ed to tackle the deep-rooted problems effectively. Not a single dollar could be borrowed in foreign commercial loans. And this indicates the serious challenges that await us in terms of the economy.

While friendly countries like China, Saudi Arabia, and the Unit­ed Arab Emirates came forward and poured in money, it is rather unfortunate to see the fading commitments of cause-based funds and aid, for example, Pakistan still has not received its complete share of reconstruction funds for the flood affectees of 2022. Couple this with two full-fledged wars deviating and extracting money from the first world into weapons supply, it becomes very clear why the international aid and development sector resem­bles an on-looking orphan.

All these global and structural factors impact Pakistan’s econom­ic situation but still do not justify evading the bigger question: Why is the country so dependent on foreign loans and aid? Here comes the policy insufficiency, misplaced priorities, barely futuris­tic planning, and whatnot. The house is not in order and that alone is a sufficient explanation for crumbling down when enough loans are not received. Managing to secure only over $9 billion in foreign loans, the borrowing avenues are limited.

Poor credit ratings and adverse global financial conditions are making it worse. This reliance on foreign aid and loans highlights the urgent need for Pakistan to implement comprehensive eco­nomic reforms to boost domestic revenue generation and reduce dependency on external financing. As long as the strategy focus­es on how to secure more loans, we are in for more dependency. The bigger question must be, how to create alternatives, how to break free from the loan cycle, how to have indigenous money-making enterprises, what sectors to capitalise on, and above all, what benefits the people of this country.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt