In the aftermath of the February 8 general elections, the prevailing uncertainty has caused widespread concern among the business community. Many fear the potential for continued political instability and economic challenges, questioning the incoming government’s ability to instate order under stringent IMF conditions. Ehsan Malik, CEO of the Pakistan Business Council (PBC), expressed the critical need for long overdue reforms that are now imperative under the looming 24th IMF programme. Malik highlighted the incoming administration’s need for a reform-centric approach, pointing out a gap in political party manifestos regarding such essential economic strategies.
The conversation around economic strategies, particularly the IMF’s role and the need for fiscal discipline, underscores the daunting tasks ahead. Malik emphasized the critical nature of inflation control, fiscal discipline, and the broadening of the tax base, raising concerns over the political will and collaboration required to navigate these challenges.
Political Collaboration for Economic Recovery
Amidst the economic and political uncertainty post-elections calls for a unified approach to governance have emerged. Former Federation Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Zubair Tufail and other industry leaders stressed the importance of political stability and a unified government to steer the country out of its crises. The necessity for a focused economic policy, including incentives for the industrial sector and comprehensive tax reforms, was echoed by Johar Qandhari, president of the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI), and Malik Khuda Bakhsh from the petroleum and CNG industry.
These leaders unanimously advocate for a collaborative effort among all political entities to ensure the country’s political and economic stability. The emphasis on a long-term, sustainable economic strategy, alongside immediate reforms to address inflation, taxation, and energy costs, reflects a critical consensus on the steps needed to secure Pakistan’s economic future.