THE recent appointment of a banker as the country’s finance minister is rather disappointing. It has nothing to do with the individual concerned. It is because we have been there before and the track record suggests that bankers in this specific role have not served the cause of Pakistan well.

Their orientation is related to the markets and its elite. Despite encoura-ging short-term buoyancy in the economy from fiscal stimuli, the long-term consequences, particularly in the debt burden, both local and foreign, have now brought the country to its knees.

And while the majority of the popu- lation is suffering from adverse headwinds in managing their family lives, commercial banks have declared obscene profits. The richest of the rich have got even richer, and many of them have shifted significant portion of their wealth from the country to safer havens abroad.

The most successful finance czars of modern times have been Manmohan Singh next door and Larry Summers in the United States during Bill Clinton’s tenure. Both economists were from the academia.

Yanis Varoufakis also comes to mind as the finance minister with an academic background, who tried to lead Greece a decade ago to safer shores from near default owing to unmanageable debt during his short but eventful stint.

The economy needs to be managed by professional economists with strong academic credentials and experience of development economics. That is the kind of person who is most likely to put the common man’s interest on the front burner rather than pursuing the fallacious mindset that what is good for the business/industrial community is good for the economy. Actually, it is not.

Dr Rashid Jooma
Karachi

Published in Dawn, April 7th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Debt trap
Updated 30 May, 2024

Debt trap

The task before the government is to boost its tax-to-GDP ratio to the global average by taxing the economy’s untaxed and undertaxed sectors.
Foregone times
30 May, 2024

Foregone times

THE past, as they say, is a foreign country. It seems that the PML-N’s leadership has chosen to live there. Nawaz...
Margalla fires
30 May, 2024

Margalla fires

THE Margalla Hills — the sprawling 12,605-hectare national park — were once again engulfed in flames, with 15...
First steps
Updated 29 May, 2024

First steps

One hopes that this small change will pave the way for bigger things.
Rafah inferno
29 May, 2024

Rafah inferno

THE level of barbarity witnessed in Sunday’s Israeli air strike targeting a refugee camp in Rafah is shocking even...
On a whim
29 May, 2024

On a whim

THE sudden declaration of May 28 as a public holiday to observe Youm-i-Takbeer — the anniversary of Pakistan’s...