PEOPLE CELEBRATING 68TH ANNIVERSARY OF PAKISTAN RESOLUTION

AMANULLAH BASHAR
Mar 24 - 30, 2008

The people of Pakistan celebrated the 68th anniversary of the Pakistan Resolution March 23, 2008 which is a historic occasion.

On this day in 1940, in a resolution was adopted in Lahore by the All-India Muslim League, the Muslims of India determined to struggle for a separate homeland for the Muslims of the Sub-continent.

Under the inspiring leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad All Jinnah, they succeeded in creating a new independent state of Pakistan, with in a short span of seven years since the adoption of the Pakistan Resolution, for ordering their lives compatible with their religious, social, political and cultural aspirations.

Pakistan has gone through various ups and downs since its inception. Today it has arrived at a stage where it is rapidly moving on the path of progress and development.

Reforms in all sectors have been successfully introduced and are bearing fruit and a new direction has been given to the Pakistani nation in line with the principles given to it by the founding fathers.

While it is encouraging to note that the economic sector has witnessed impressive gains with around 7% GDP growth rate over the last five years.

FOOD INFLATION

The food inflation has increased out of proportion during last one year. The food inflation was 10.2 percent in the first six months of the current fiscal year as against 7.5 percent in the same period last year. Since oil prices have a multiplier effect on general prices, the increase in oil prices internationally and locally during last one month has added fuel to the fire. The government on 1st of March, and again on March 15 announced an increase in petrol and diesel prices by Rs.5 per litre and Rs4 twice within 15 days respectively to pass on the increase in the international prices. It is surprising to see that on one hand the prices of certain basic commodities have been linked with the international prices while the earnings of the people are not considered to link with what it is at the international level. This is would add to the poverty level in the developing economies no doubt.

People of Pakistan attached high hopes that the newly elected government in Pakistan will also continue its efforts to further standard of living of the masses by providing an opportunity to the people to have an access to the economic benefits achieved so and help them out to get better economic opportunities besides health, education facilities which should be the first target of an elected government in a welfare state.

KASHMIR ISSUE

In the regional context, the peace process initiated by Pakistan with India holds a great promise for the future of our region and in turn for international peace and security. The international communities have welcomed the dialogue between Pakistan and India to resolve the outstanding issues between the two countries particularly the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir. It is the earnest desire of the people that the process will culminate in establishing lasting peace, security and prosperity in South Asia. In fact, tense relations serve no purpose but to add miseries of the poor both sides of the borders. It is said that certain political quarters in both the countries were surviving politically by keeping the issue alive as if the Kashmir issue was resolved, there would be no justification for existence of certain quarters in the two countries. The people of Pakistan and India have suffered a lot due to unresolved Kashmir issue. The hard earned resources were drained out in two wars and in the race of getting war machines at the cost of the innocent citizens. Regional harmony is the key ensure a better future in this part of the world.

ENERGY CRISIS

Despite having rich energy resources people of Pakistan across the board have been put to suffer acute electricity shortage primarily due to lack of planning and sincerity to the purpose. Karachi which is called as economic power house of the country has been rendered to suffer six-hour load shedding every day. This state of affairs besides making the scorching summer heat unbearable send a bad message to the investors in this part of the world. The trade and industry crying for help as they have sounded a note of warning that under the prevailing circumstances they would not be able to meet the export targets.

Actually, the KESC was privatized by the government with a view to improve the power supply situation in this mega city but instead of making life easy the private sector management has miserably failed to deliver. In fact, it is not Karachi alone where the people are suffering due to power deficit, the situation in rest of the country was also not different from what it is in Karachi. Out of the total electricity produced by WAPDA, KESC and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) hardly 6000mw generated through hydel resources while the remaining electricity comes from cost fuel oil or gas fired system which is not only expensive but eroding the available gas resources in the country.

It is the high time that the government should accelerate its efforts to find alternate energy resources besides working on war footings for the import of natural gas from Iran.

In fact, the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project represents the most important milestone on the road to enhancing mutual economic relationship in the region especially with Iran and India. In December, 2007, Pakistan & Iran completed negotiations on Gas Sale and Purchase Agreement (GSPA). The final agreement will be signed in the near future and the project worth more than US$ 7 billion will be completed in 2012. This will lay solid foundation for economic collaboration and bring economic progress and prosperity in both the countries.

PAKISTAN

Account

Scale

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008E

Population

Millions

143.17

146.75

149.65

152.53

155.4

158.17

161.051

Current account

% of GDP

3.9

4.9

1.8

-1.4

-3.9

-4.9

-4.9

GDP Per capita, current prices

Us $

507.686

568.967

655.489

718.54

817.26

908.933

1,019.33

GNP (FC)

Curent Factor Cost (RS Mln)

-

4,686,030

5,375,005

6,257,029

7279077R

8387257P

-

GNP (FC)

Constant factor cost (Rs mln)

-

4,049,154

4,306,329

4,681,980

4981079R

5326831P

-

GNP (MP)

Curent Factor Cost (RS Mln)

-

5,027,460

5,765,058

6,634,243

7743755R

8867655P

-

GNP (MP)

Constant factor cost (Rs mln)

-

4,350,026

4,624,870

4,970,546

5303974R

5638818P

-

Literacy rate

     

40

46%

49.9

54%

 

Sorces : IMF, SBP & IBRD

R : Revised

P: Provisional

           

ECONOMIC INDICATORS (2002-2008)

INDICATORS

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-2007

2007-08

TARGET

(JUL-FEB)

2007-2008

Exports (Billion $)

9.13

11.16

12.31

14.39

16.47

17.01

11.7

 

Imports (Billion $)

10.34

12.22

15.59

20.6

28.58

30.54

24.1

No target

Trade Balance (Billion $)

-1.2

-1.06

-3.28

-6.21

-12.11

-13.53

-12.43

 

FDI (Million $)

484.7

798

949.4

1524

3,521

5,125

2.262

 

Foreign Investment(Million $)

475

820

922

1677

3,872

8,417

July-Jan08

 

(FDI+Public&Private Portfolio)

           

2.623

 

Workers Remittances (Billion $)

2.39

4.24

3.872

4.17

4.6

5.49

4.12 (July-Jan08)

 

Forex Reserves (Billion $)

6.43

10.72

12.33

12.61

13.14

15.18

14.14 (As on 13th March)

 

Exchange Rate (Rs./ US$)

61

57.7

57.92

59.66

60.16

60.5

62.6

 

Stock Exchange Index

1520

3402

5279

7450

9,989

13,772

15000 ( Mid march)

 

GDP Growth

3.60%

5.10%

6.40%

8.40%

6.60%

7.00%

-

6.5-7%

Inflation

3.40%

3.30%

3.90%

9.30%

8%

7.90%

8.90%

6.50%