THE budget presented recently has been disappointing because it has remained absolutely silent on the protracted issue of reforms that the national economy needs rather urgently. Pakistan’s current economic model is not sustainable at all, and it seems to be taking us all towards an inevitable disaster.

We did not see any reforms with respect to circular debts, federal pension, taxation, etc. It was expected to bring retailers and agriculturalists into the tax net, but due to political reasons, the exemptions have continued. Ever since the new government took over the reins in Islamabad, it had been assuring the people that the privatisation of state-owned enterprises would take place immediately. However, there was no mention of the matter of privatisation in the budget speech.

Undoubtedly, Pakistan’s economy cannot survive without structural reforms, and the current coalition government has missed an important opportunity to put the national economy on the correct path, unfortunately. It is hard to believe that the latest budget was prepared by the new federal finance minister, who used to enjoy a good reputation with regard to his qualification and capability.

Ejaz Ahmad Magoon
London, United Kingdom

Published in Dawn, June 23rd, 2024

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