THIS is with reference to the article ‘Defining challenges’ (Jan 29) which has rightfully concluded that critical challenges confronting the country remained unaddressed for decades.

However, it is imperative to focus on the fiscal challenge first. The country is in the grip of a severe debt trap, and efforts to get out of this vicious circle, regardless of its historical background, are apparently being compromised because of public pressure for relief and desire for rapid economic growth.

This riddle requires an independent, fair and bold analysis with practical suggestions to solve the same. A full spectrum of the debt trap must be made known to the policymakers aas well as to the nation.

The overall size of the national debt stock has continuously been increasing since long because of local and foreign borrowings, creating contingent liabilities and undertaking of commitments by various public-sector institutions.

GDP growth is essential to get the requisite relief from the debt trap and an increase in revenue-generation. The doling out of budget resources to the traditional sectors without any reforms may not yield the desired results.

The country needs an out-of-the-box approach to tap modern platforms for economic growth. This area will require fair analysis and bold suggestions by qualified economists.

Ahmad H. Ghumman

Islamabad

Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2021

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