Original Articles

Was Pakistan’s economy really growing at 6 % during the Patwari government of Nawaz Sharif?

 

When this question was posed, the usual figures were cited and international agencies like the #WorldBank, #IMF, State Bank and Asian Development were referenced.

Ok. I have heard #KhaqanAbbasi regurgitate this PML N script many times. I have also seen him admit, under the rare tough questioning of #GharidaFarooqi, that his government’s wild allegations against former #PresidentZardari were false. #Jiyalas should realise that Khaqan did not admit this of himself. He was pressured to do so, in a rare decent interview by a Pakistani anchor.

Similarly. PML N should also be pushed on their over-hyped “economic growth numbers. Because the numbers don’t add up. Under PML N, exports went down by 20% from when PPP had doubled exports after the period of stagnation under #GeneralMusharaf.

#PMLN enjoyed some of the lowest oil prices but yet, they quadrupled power prices. And increased the current account deficit by nearly 900% from where PPP had left them in 2013. Oil prices are the main driver for both power generation and imports costs in Pakistan. The power crisis in Punjab subsided after half of PML N’s tenure was over. This was because of power generation projects initiated by the previous PPP government. The power crisis in Punjab would have ended during PPP’s tenure but PML N/PML Q/#Media/#SupremeCourt derailed the Rental Power Projects by PPP’s senior minister and PM, #RajaPervaizAshraf.

A slander and smear campaign, build on baseless gossip (by #NajamSethi types in the #SuchGup section of his Friday Times blog) was launched against PPP and Raja Pervaiz and the RPPs were cancelled. The charges were finally proven to be bogus ten years later last month but the damage was done.

During PML N’s tenure, the growing manufacturing in Faisalabad, Karachi and Sialkot were scuttled because of cheaper Chinese imports. The high power prices under PML N ensured that Pakistan could not compete with China, Bangladesh and Vietnam in the manufacturing sectors. Pakistani exports shrank during PML N’s tenure while Bangladesh’s exports doubled. During the previous PPP government, Pakistan was ahead of Bangladesh in exports. PPP grew exports while the world was still recovering from the #SubPrime crisis

From 2013 onward little to no work has been done on agricultural support pricing. Pakistan is an agrarian country which depends upon agriculture for not just its own basic food but also for its textile manufacturing inputs.

So how can one justify the grandiose economic growth claims by PML N? And why are international agencies repeating these claims.

This is quite possibly due to all the shiny but non-essential projects that were started by PML N. The metros and orange lines that do not help the economy grow but which allowed Nawaz Sharif and his cronies to grow their corruption. Many of these projects were under a #CPEG that was radically altered by PML N to benefit their cronies instead of Pakistan.

CPEG was envisaged as a strategic barter agreement between Pakiatan and China. With investments in those projects that were beneficial to both Pakistan and China. An example of what CPEG was supposed to be is Thar coal where Pakistan labour operates under Chinese training and supervision. The power generated by #TharCoal in #Sindh is intended for Faisalabad in #Punjab.

Under #NawazSharif, CPEC was subverted into a $65 billion #loan with massive kick back opportunities for Nawaz Sharif, his families, his cronies and the establishment. It was extremely unpopular to question PML N’s disastrous mishandling of CPEC and those sharing articles by economists like Kaiser Bengali, that exposed this, were shunned and attacked socially. The Orange Line, which provides little economic value for Lahore, was completed at a cost of nearly Rs. 300 billion. Meanwhile the #KarachiCircularRailway whose estimated cost is about Rs. 200 billion, was not included in CPEC. This is an essential rail service that would ease Karachi’s chronic traffic and urban congestion issues.

The Taliban-backed Nawaz Sharif regime scrapped the Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline because PML N cronies (like Khaqan) wanted to import LNG from Qatar.

PML N’s #CronyCapitalism, corruption and myopic policies laid the foundation for Pakistan’s current economic mess. Only the characters have changed but essentially, #ImranKhan is practicing the same right-wing, anti-Awaam crony policies that Nawaz Sharif has done over 3 seperate governments and during General Zia ul Haq’s dictatorship.

PPP has to confront both PTI and PML N over their economic mismanagement of Pakistan. Both are right wing, establishment parties and both have contributed to the collapse and inflationary pressure faced by Pakistan today.

Was Pakistan’s economy really growing at 6 % during the Patwari government of Nawaz Sharif?When this question was posed, the usual figures were cited and international agencies like the #WorldBank, #IMF, State Bank and Asian Development were referenced. Ok. I have heard #KhaqanAbbasi regurgitate this PML N script many times. I have also seen him admit, under the rare tough questioning of #GharidaFarooqi, that his governnemt’s wild allegations against former #PresidentZardari were false. #Jiyalas should realise that Khaqan did not admit this of himself. He was pressured to do so, in a rare decent interview by a Pakistani anchor. Similarly. PML N should also be pushed on their over-hyped “economic growth numbers. Because the numbers don’t add up. Under PML N, exports went down by 20% from when PPP had doubled exports after the period of stagnation under #GeneralMusharaf. #PMLN enjoyed some of the lowest oil prices but yet, they quadrupled power prices. And increased the current account deficit by nearly 900% from where PPP had left them in 2013. Oil prices are the main driver for both power generation and imports costs in Pakistan. The power crisis in Punjab subsided after half of PML N’s tenure was over. This was because of power generation projects initiated by the previous PPP government. The power crisis in Punjab would have ended during PPP’s tenure but PML N/PML Q/#Media/#SupremeCourt derailed the Rental Power Projects by PPP’s senior minister and PM, #RajaPervaizAshraf. A slander and smear campaign, build on baseless gossip (by #NajamSethi types in the #SuchGup section of his Friday Times blog) was launched against PPP and Raja Pervaiz and the RPPs were cancelled. The charges were finally proven to be bogus ten years later last month but the damage was done. During PML N’s tenure, the growing manufacturing in Faisalabad, Karachi and Sialkot were scuttled because of cheaper Chinese imports. The high power prices under PML N ensured that Pakistan could not compete with China, Bangladesh and Vietnam in the manufacturing sectors. Pakistani exports shrank during PML N’s tenure while Bangladesh’s exports doubled. During the previous PPP government, Pakistan was ahead of Bangladesh in exports. PPP grew exports while the world was still recovering from the #SubPrime crisis From 2013 onwards little to no work has been done on agricultural support pricing. Pakistan is an agarian country which depends upon agriculture for not just its own basic food but also for its textile manufacturing inputs. So how can one justify the grandiose economic growth claims by PML N? And why are international agencies repeating these claims. This is quite possibly due to all the shiny but non-essential projects that were started by PML N. The metros and orange lines that do not help the economy grow but which allowed Nawaz Sharif and his cronies to grow their corruption. Many of these projects were under a #CPEG that was radically altered by PML N to benefit their cronies instead of Pakistan. CPEG was envisaged as a strategic barter agreement between Pakiatan and China. With investments in those projects that were beneficial to both Pakistan and China. An example of what CPEG was supposed to be is Thar coal where Pakistan labour operates under Chinese training and supervision. The power generated by #TharCoal in #Sindh is intended for Faisalabad in #Punjab. Under #NawazSharif, CPEG was subverted into a $65 billion #loan with massive kick back opportunities for Nawaz Sharif, his families, his cronies and the establishment. It was extremely unpopular to question PML N’s disastrous mishandling of CPEG and those sharing articles by economists like Kaiser Bengali, that exposed this, were shunned and attacked socially. The Orange Line, which provides little economic value for Lahore, was completed at a cost of nearly Rs. 300 billion. Meanwhile the #KarachiCircularRailway whose estimated cost is about Rs. 200 billion, was not included in CPEG. This is an essential rail service that would ease Karachi’s chronic traffic and urban congestion issues. The Taliban-backed Nawaz Sharif regime scrapped the Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline because PML N cronies (like Khaqan) wanted to import LNG from Qatar. PML N’s #CronyCapitalism, corruption and myopic policies laid the foundation for Pakistan’s current economic mess. Only the characters have changed but essentially, #ImranKhan is practicing the same right-wing, anti-Awaam crony policies that Nawaz Sharif has done over 3 seperate governments and during General Zia ul Haq’s dictatorship. PPP has to confront both PTI and PML N over their economic mismanagement of Pakistan. Both are right wing, establishment parties and both have contributed to the collapse and inflationary pressure faced by Pakistan today.

Posted by Riaz Malik on Sunday, August 16, 2020