Better domestic resource mobilization;
A tool to achieve self reliance: A.H. Sheikh
The finance minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh has stressed to achieve a measure of self reliance through better domestic resource mobilization and to make the country fertile for investment.
Minister told in a recent news conference that by this means we will be able reduce our reliance on loans. Indiscriminate borrowing over the last four years has brought us to a debt level of 55 percent of GDP which is approaching the limit under the Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Limitation Act. This borrowing by the government also means higher interest rates and crowding out of the private sector. If we do not control our expenditures, and raise resources, we run the risk of being permanently in debt. High fiscal deficits have also curtailed our development budget.
He further added that our nascent recovery can only be sustained through increased investment and results by the private sector. Indeed the role of the government should be primarily that of facilitating investment. We want to be able to show the people of Pakistan that the growth rate achieved in many Asian countries can also be attained in Pakistan. In order to achieve growth, we must make Pakistan attractive for investment. Surveys of competitiveness and cost of doing business suggest that reforms need to be undertaken to improve governance and markets in Pakistan.
“In order to attract investment we also need to emphasize productivity and efficiency, within our limited resource availability,” the minister concluded.