The NED University of Engineering Technology on Friday under its Department of Economics and Management Sciences organized a one-day seminar on ‘Economic Stability in Pakistan and The Way Forward’.
Addressing the event, Prof. Dr. Raza Ali Khan said that the Pakistani economy is currently facing a number of challenges including unstable economic growth, double digit inflation, low investment, low productivity, energy shortage and lack of energy. But more important is the question that what is the solution to these problems and what is the way to economic stability.
Dr. Noman Ahmed, Dean, Faculty of Architecture and Management Sciences, NED, said only 32% of the tax revenue is directly collected and most of it is derived from indirect sources. Pakistan has been facing stagnant exports and imports for decades. The government should increase investment opportunities while policy makers should formulate policies to get the economy out of crisis.
He said the discussion and analysis on these issues in educational institutions is the first step towards solving problems. Highlighting the importance of the economy, Dr. Asad Saeed, Director, Center for Collective Research and Associate Fellow Ideas, said that from 2003-2007 to 2008-2007 and 2013-14 to 2017-18, the Pakistani economy has shown a better trend than other years.
It would not be out of place to declare the worst year because of Covid-19. In terms of exports, Pakistan is at a lower level than other countries in the region, while private sector investment is also below 15%.
He said that exports should be increased at the regional level. Pakistan could achieve the desired target by increasing exports of textiles, automobiles and food items.
Addressing the seminar, Dr. Shahida Wazir, Dean, College of Economics and Social Development, IOBM, said that when a country devalues its local currency, exports become cheaper and imports become more expensive, due to which the cost of industries in countries like ours.
Growth and local industries are out of competition. As a result, the trade deficit increases. Developed countries are taking advantage of Pakistan’s natural resources.
A ban should be imposed for the time being to boost business at the local level and reduce inflation.
Abdul Rehman Naqi, Senior Vice President, Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the devaluation of the local currency has a negative impact on business and especially small business. He said industries were currently facing a number of problems, including increasing gas shortages. Inflation is rising which is reducing demand and affecting business. The government should also take care of the business class.