Pakistan Needs A NATIONAL ECONOMIC ACTION PLAN (NEAP) Immediately
Yesterday’s volatility in our currency should be a wake up call to the financial bigwigs of Pakistan doing politics on our national future. It should show them how vulnerable our medium of exchange is. Within minutes it lost control and vertical ascent was not able to be controlled. This was a preview before the entire show is played out. And yesterday’s sudden preview demands our attention because it reaffirms to us that the show can abruptly start again and play in its entirety.
Economic issues are not just a topic of speeches at political rallies. They are neither a point of attracting votes before the elections. Economic issues are everyday issues. Like life issues. They come up regularly in a nation’s life cycle. They are like health issues which require our attention on a constant basis. Just like a human being gets warnings about his health, economies also give warnings about their fitness. The only difference is that a person’s health warnings only have to do with one person’s well being but on the other hand economic health warnings have to do with the well being of an entire nation, in our case 200 million people, if the population consensus is to be believed.
Reverse is happening in our country. The finance minister is in the hospital getting a treatment and the economy is without a Doctor. The sick is being touted as healthy and the healthy is attracting sympathy. Time has come that with the increasing current account deficit, a plummeting foreign reserve, a shrinking import cover, a stagnant export cycle, a crashing stock market, an out of control debt situation, and an alarmingly weak national currency that can depreciate any given moment, to name a few, we need all the parties to come together to a table and work on a NATIONAL ECONOMIC ACTION PLAN. NEAP. Immediately. And as of yesterday.
The previously formed National Action Plan is of much less consequence if any than an economic plan. Without a strong economy there is no state. There is no army. There is no defence policy. There is no trade agreement. There is no economic growth. There is no stable currency. There is no export growth. There is no foreign investment. There is no employment generation. There is no affordability of education. There is no funding in Research & Development. And to give a wake up call to all the political pundits. Without a strong economy, there is no PPP PML MQM ANP PSP PTI or whatever abbreviation you might want to give to your ideology and deny the importance of economic stability.
CPEC is China dependent and no matter how beautiful and wonderful and historical our relations are with China, one pause in funding for a few months alone for CPEC can create havoc in Pakistan. Chinese are very astute and farsighted investors. If they see our economy sinking into an abyss, mark my words today, they will either slow down the financing of CPEC or pause it all together to renegotiate the major portions of it. Don’t live in a fools paradise of thinking that China will lose $56 billion in love for Pakistan. They will not. No country will. Specially not a country like China. So wake up Pakistan. Wake up and smell the coffee ( tea in our case ). Morning of action has arrived. An action that needs to be taken now. A national economic action.