Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said corruption was not the main reason for Pakistan’s economic development, arguing that there are examples of countries making progress despite similar levels of corruption.
The PML-N leader pointed out that “political instability and policy reversal” is not a much bigger obstacle to Pakistan’s growth, rather than corruption.
He said at a seminar in Islamabad: “The biggest lesson today is that we can count many countries in the world that have developed despite corruption similar to ours, but we cannot point to a single country that has developed despite political instability and development. Stop policy ”
Iqbal said Bangladesh and India have grown despite corruption problems as severe as Pakistan.
He said there are “structural problems” that are not allowing Pakistan to make a leap, emphasizing that reforms will take “at least 10 years” to truly work. He added that no good action can yield results without direction for 10 years.
“We have failed to continue the policy of this country, and the main reason is the political situation within us.”
Iqbal said Pakistan’s economic growth requires strong fiscal discipline and economic management.
“We must move toward export-led growth,” he added, adding that Pakistan lags behind the rest of the world as the tax-to-GDP ratio has never exceeded 12%.
He lamented that Pakistan lags behind in exports compared to other regions.
The planning minister said that at present foreign direct investment is only $1.5 billion, while Vietnam’s is $30 billion.
It also noted that Pakistan’s investment-to-savings ratio is very low.
Iqbal said Pakistan did not pay attention to human resource development and the dream of economic development is not enough education level.
“We need to make young people skilled and educated. The CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) project brought us to the world’s attention. “The whole world wanted to invest in it,” he said.
The planning minister said Pakistan must move toward export-led growth to ensure that its economy is sustainable and inclusive to balance its annual budget.
On Tuesday, Iqbal pleaded with the public to help overcome its foreign exchange glut by consuming less tea. He said, “I will appeal to the state to reduce the amount of tea by one or two because the tea we import is also imported on credit.”
This comment sparked controversy as the message did not reach most Pakistanis.