PUTA organizes Seminar on country’s economic situation

Prof. Wasim Shahid Malik says Pakistan likely to avert economic default

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PESHAWAR: Peshawar University Teachers Association (PUTA) held its annual seminar series on the most volatile current affairs topic of chances of default of Pakistan economy: causes, consequences and the way forward.

The guest speaker was a noted economist and served at PIDE, PIPS and WBF forums; Prof. Dr. Shahid Wasim Malik , currently holding Mehbub ur Rasheed chair for State Bank of Pakistan at University of Peshawar .

The key note speaker went on to say that Pakistan is likely to avert the default position , given that Pakistan successfully paid current payment of euro-bond worth of one billion dollar and continue global downward trend of crude oil prices ,that will relax import bill of the country. He cautioned the participants that current country’s economy is in dire straits but government has to woo International monetary fund to restart its program and also to absorb political cost of IMF engineered structural adjustments in the upcoming general elections.

He appreciated the short term adjustments by present government to reign in current account deficit , restricting imports and rupee- dollar disparity but warned that such short-term measures could harm business community trust and business ecosystem in the long run.

He anticipated that due to balooning debt services and higher interest rates due to inflation , government would have to cut development programs this year. “This current year is for survival mode for economy, common man must not expect any incentives from government,” he exclaimed .

He further elaborated that continuous fiscal deficit , current account deficit, low saving by public and appalling investments by business community is eroding the economy like a termite. He pointed out that whooping services sector is welcoming but low intensity industry is hurting Pakistan economy that must be corrected by igniting massive industrial growth to offset imports burden. He remarked that government must look to invest in universities for ideas , innovation and knowledge based economy for long term solution to ailing economy.

He pointed out that during last forty years , 100 plus countries got defaulted but countries who were in IMF programme, were one or two. He called upon government to woo IMF , but pointed out that 6.5 percent of GDP is deficit that may hurt Pakistan economy .He further insisted that economic projections must be carefully pinned down, otherwise, current situation can be evolved due to mistaken inflation and interest rates miscalculations.

In the concluding session, President Peshawar University Teachers Association Dr.Muhammad Uzair thanked Dr.Sajjad Ahmad Jan for the topic and guest selection and to hope to continue seminar series on current affairs affecting societies and the country.

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