Published Date: May 23, 2017
The low economic growth resulted by the ill-conceived economic policies of the government have led to unprecedented unemployment in the country.
The increasing income inequality and concentration of wealth have been other major issues that demand immediate corrective measures.
Likewise, huge disparities in development between the regions of Pakistan should also be matter of a grave concern for the current regime.
These views were expressed by Senator Osman Saifullah while presenting the outlines of ‘Shadow budget for the financial year 2017-18’ on behalf of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Monday.
He lamented that the industrial manufacturing sector was destroyed by the wrong policies of the government whereas agriculture in the country had also seen a decline.
Likewise, he said, the worsening trade competitiveness, declining exports and alarmingly growing trade deficit needed immediate corrective measures.
He said that the country was facing a broken tax system and hence, the government has been failed to finance its obligations to its citizens. The country was also observing the private sector to being broken down as a job creation engine whereas a lack of trust in government was resulting in the poor tax culture.
"The poor human capital, illiteracy as well as a deteriorated education system remained major setbacks for our national development."
The PPP senator said the regulatory and bureaucratic environment was actually proving as an impediment for the growth of the private enterprise.
The participation of women in the non-agricultural economy has not increased whereas the government was busy in spending on unproductive activities.
He said that due to economic shocks and inflation, the PPP would create and strengthen the safety net for the poor and vulnerable and will ensure equality of opportunity for all.
He added that the private sector should be promoted as the agent of growth.
Likewise, steps were required to improve the profitability of players in the formal economy by cracking down on those operating in the black economy and under cutting documented economy players.
Senator Saifullah termed it quite ironic that only 7% of borrowers were availing 93% of loans. He said that the culture of examinations must be ended and voucher schemes should be introduced to enable people from low income groups to ensure quality education for their children.
He said, "Our government, if it came to power, would introduce a health insurance scheme in the Federal Capital and then in the provinces. We will focus on countrywide re-training, skill development and education scheme to upgrade skills of those unemployed for 2 years or longer."
The PPP government, he said, would promote home ownership through provision of mortgage finance for home building, so as to give all citizens a stake in this country.
"We will introduce technology – seed, mechanization, to improve yields and information technology (IT) to remove information asymmetries and would offer incentives for investment in agricultural value added industrial projects. Moreover, our government will reform of the loss-making state-owned enterprises," he concluded.