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Imran Khan's economic challenge: Rescue, resuscitate, reform Pakistan

Imran Khan's economic vision is bold and if he gets it right Pakistan could be a transformed country

A K Bhattacharya 

This is event stories 

With cricketer turned politician on the cusp of becoming the next Wazir-e-Azam of Pakistan, his economic vision has the potential of transforming Pakistan's stuttering  But his road to redeem Pakistan's could ruffle a lot of feathers, including that of the which has a major role to play in Khan's rise to the top. Khan certainly faces an uphill task – the nation he will lead sits at the bottom of the pile on several important social and economic parameters. 

 

ALSO READ: Pakistan police replaces private security at Imran Khan's house: Reports

The World Bank estimates that Pakistan's GDP growth rate will decline to 5 per cent in 2019 from 5.7 per cent in 2017. In 2018, Pakistan won't grow more than 5 per cent. In 2020, it will grow at 5.4 per cent – significantly lower than other South Asian nations like India and Bangladesh. In 2017, its per capita GDP grew by 3.6 per cent – again lower than India and Bangladesh but better than Sri Lanka. In 2016, almost 5 million children in Pakistan were out of school. The country has the lowest primary school enrollment rate in the region. It has more child labourers than other nations in the neighbourhood. Its labour participation rates are abysmal. It ranks 147 in the Ease of Doing Business Index – better than Bangladesh. Suicide bombings, armed insurgency and military coups are the order of the day gnawing away the nation's soul every single day. In many ways, the Pakistan is inheriting is a tinderbox waiting to explode.


THE CAPTAIN WILL PRESIDE OVER

 

Size of the economy (2016-17) $304 billion
Population (2016-17) 207.8 million
Per capita income (2016-17) $1,463
Govt debt as % of GDP (2017-18) 67.2
Inflation (2017-18) 5.0%
Foreign exchange reserves $9.6 billion

Source: IMF and State Bank of Pakistan

One of the key aspects of Khan's economic reform program which he dubbed as a “five-point emergency plan” in Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s (PTI) manifesto, which could ruffle many feathers and generate a political backlash from his opponents, pertains to radically reform the way Pakistan spends its Rs 4.75 trillion (1 USD equals 129 Pakistani rupees) budget. Khan has promised that among other things, he would be looking to reduce the defence budget of Pakistan. While Khan hasn't specified how he intends to get Pakistan’s all-powerful military to reconcile to this, his plan is to trim Pakistan's $9.6 billion military budget which accounts for almost a fifth of the country's total budget.


First Published: Mon, March 16 2015. 06:45 IST

Imran Khan's economic challenge: Rescue, resuscitate, reform Pakistan

Imran Khan's economic vision is bold and if he gets it right Pakistan could be a transformed country

With cricketer turned politician on the cusp of becoming the next Wazir-e-Azam of Pakistan, his economic vision has the potential of transforming Pakistan's stuttering  But his road to redeem Pakistan's could ruffle a lot of feathers, including that of the which has a major role to play in Khan's rise to the top. Khan certainly faces an uphill task – the nation he will lead sits at the bottom of the pile on several important social and economic parameters. 

 

ALSO READ: Pakistan police replaces private security at Imran Khan's house: Reports

The World Bank estimates that Pakistan's GDP growth rate will decline to 5 per cent in 2019 from 5.7 per cent in 2017. In 2018, Pakistan won't grow more than 5 per cent. In 2020, it will grow at 5.4 per cent – significantly lower than other South Asian nations like India and Bangladesh. In 2017, its per capita GDP grew by 3.6 per cent – again lower than India and Bangladesh but better than Sri Lanka. In 2016, almost 5 million children in Pakistan were out of school. The country has the lowest primary school enrollment rate in the region. It has more child labourers than other nations in the neighbourhood. Its labour participation rates are abysmal. It ranks 147 in the Ease of Doing Business Index – better than Bangladesh. Suicide bombings, armed insurgency and military coups are the order of the day gnawing away the nation's soul every single day. In many ways, the Pakistan is inheriting is a tinderbox waiting to explode.


THE CAPTAIN WILL PRESIDE OVER

 

Size of the economy (2016-17) $304 billion
Population (2016-17) 207.8 million
Per capita income (2016-17) $1,463
Govt debt as % of GDP (2017-18) 67.2
Inflation (2017-18) 5.0%
Foreign exchange reserves $9.6 billion

Source: IMF and State Bank of Pakistan

One of the key aspects of Khan's economic reform program which he dubbed as a “five-point emergency plan” in Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s (PTI) manifesto, which could ruffle many feathers and generate a political backlash from his opponents, pertains to radically reform the way Pakistan spends its Rs 4.75 trillion (1 USD equals 129 Pakistani rupees) budget. Khan has promised that among other things, he would be looking to reduce the defence budget of Pakistan. While Khan hasn't specified how he intends to get Pakistan’s all-powerful military to reconcile to this, his plan is to trim Pakistan's $9.6 billion military budget which accounts for almost a fifth of the country's total budget.


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