Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government often pins the blame for the economic turmoil in Pakistan on his predecessors and coronavirus, in that order, and credits PM Khan for minimising the adverse impact of both. PM Khan and his government’s economists have lately been telling Pakistanis and the world about his government’s success in navigating the economy.
In November, Imran Khan told a meeting with political leaders and civil society that the difficult phase in the economic revival is over and the economy has recovered. The next month, PM Khan declared that Pakistan’s economy had made a “remarkable turnaround”.
To be sure, the pandemic did play a key role in ramming Pakistan’s economy that contracted for the first time in seven decades. But the downward trend had been evident as early as mid-2018. Pakistan’s GDP grew by 1.9% in 2019, down from a decade-high of 5.8% the previous year when Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf came to power.’
Pakistan watchers in New Delhi suggest PM Khan’s proclamation on the economy may have jumped the gun.
Not everyone in Pakistan outside the government is as convinced either. Like this opinion piece in the Dawn. “Whenever you hear the government proclaim triumph about rising exports, keep in mind that the trade deficit has grown even faster than exports in the same July to December period,” commentator Khurram Husain cautioned on the government’s spin to the data on PM Khan’s claims of economic recovery.
Besides, Pakistan is also struggling to contain inflation that shot up to 10.7% in 2020, up from 6.8% in 2019 and 4.7% in 2018 when the Imran Khan government came to power. A recent spike in food prices indicates that the rising trend is likely to continue.
Courtesy – Hindustan Times