Pakistan’s Status as Top Reformer in South Asia a Remarkable Achievement: PIAF
LAHORE– Pakistan Industrial and Traders Association Front Chairman Mian Nauman Kabir has welcomed the status of ‘Top Reformer’ in South Asia given by the World Bank to Pakistan for introducing new reforms.
It is a big achievement, he said and proposed the government for further structural reforms to address its longstanding issues, besides strengthening of institutions through legal framework to help economy be competitive.
PIAF chairman said that Pakistan’s ranking has improved for the first time in last fifteen years in ‘Ease of Doing Business Index’ and now the country stands at 136th rank.
He highlighted the government’s focus on improving the ease-of-doing-business, as the results of the first quarter of the financial year had indicated that Pakistan’s economy was on the path to stabilization and the reforms were demonstrating positive outcomes.
Nauman Kabir said that this year, the World Bank recognized six of the nine reforms, after which Pakistan became the fastest-growing country in South Asia.
Quoting the report of World Bank, he said that Pakistan showed significant improvements in 6 fields including start-up business, obtaining construction permits, obtaining power supply and property registration, paying taxes and trading across borders.
Moreover, the World Bank recognized that the process of computerized Punjab Land Records, introduced in the tenure of former Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, has improved the registration of property.
PIAF vice chairman Javed Siddiqi said that the government’s macroeconomic adjustment and demand management policies for stabilization have started making an impact as visible in the moderate growth of 3.3 percent in the FY2019.
He, however, added that the introduction of a host of measures to bring down inflation, jack up economic activities, strengthening of social security net and increase in employment opportunities and containment of fiscal and trade deficits as claimed by the government should also be seen practically.
Javed Siddiqi advised to strengthen cooperation at the federal and provincial levels for greater fiscal and economic calibration. He said that the most important track for the country was the structural reforms that will allow Pakistan economy to be more competitive by addressing some of the longstanding issues related to the weaknesses.
Mian Nauman Kabir said that Pakistan’s economic growth is expected to decelerate to 3.4 percent in FY19 and 2.7 percent in FY20, as fiscal and monetary policies are tightened to address macroeconomic imbalances. Quoting the figures, he added that domestic demand is expected to contract while at the same time export growth will be gradual.
On the supply side, services growth, which has been leading growth in the past, is projected to decline to 4.4 percent in FY19 compared to 6.4 percent in FY18. The agriculture and industrial sectors will also grow significantly lower in FY19 and FY20.— PRESS RELEASE