Bilal Azhar Kayani (Coordinator to the Prime Minister on Economy and Energy): The increase in exports and tax revenues are vital for sustainable growth. Unfortunately, when economic growth happens then the current account deficit increases. However, the top priority of the government is to discourage imports in order to have sustainable growth. The previous government halted the IMF program that resulted in an increase in inflation. The incumbent government not only revived the IMF program but also tried to facilitate the masses. The prime focus of the government is the agriculture and IT sectors. We need to diversify different sectors in order to have economic growth. The government will take all possible measures to take the current account deficit to surplus. In the previous tenure of the PML-N government, there was zero load-shedding but the PTI government’s policies resulted not only in an increase in load-shedding but increase in energy tariffs as well. The incumbent government is making all out efforts towards clean energy and some initiatives of the government in this regard will be officially announced in a few days. Moreover, the government is also ensuring to minimize the expenses to provide maximum relief to the people of the country.
Tauseef Zaman (Economist): There are some fundamentals that should be addressed by the incumbent government. The government needs to focus on the measures to maximize the exports and minimize the imports in order to eliminate the dependency on other countries. We must be hopeful that the experienced ministers of the incumbent government will bring the economy on the right track through prudent economic policies. It is unfortunate that the country that was once touted as having the potential to be a self-sufficient agro-based economy is now a net importer of food stuff. The priority of the government must take active steps to improve the agriculture sector in the country.
Hamayun Iqbal Shami (Chairman, Pakistan Economic Forum): Every government in power must have a proper road map to deal with the economic issues in order to bring the people out of problems. If the economy is on the right track then the people will be able to live a quality life. Unfortunately, the political parties are never on the same page for the sake of national interests. In order to have a sustainable economic development, the political parties should sit together and devise policies and ensure the proper implementation of these policies. A board should be constituted with representation with professionals to monitor the implementation of policies. Due to political instability, the investors are hesitant to invest in the development projects. The government needs to address the issues related to agriculture and resolve the issues in order to increase the production in this sector.