By, Afreen Baig
Budget 2010-11 has come with many promises to reform the economy. The government has set forth few objectives for it to achieve. The 7th objective is a resolve to make the country ‘fertile for investment’, with whatever limited resources available.
If an economy runs towards economic imbalance, stagnation or recession, or if one has to kick start a new economy, there are two main options any government has. First, the government along-with the Central bank pledges to pump in direct money to start the circulation cycle. Recent examples of this are the US government’s pledge for the ‘rescue package’ worth roughly $12 trillion towards the economy. Similarly UK government spent nearly a trillion Pound to bail out and refinance its bank through ‘Quantitative Easing’. Likewise, Japan also launched above $350 billion stimulus packages, to lift its economy out of the recent recession and over the past decade of its economic stagflation it has taken several such smaller initiatives to stimulate the economy. All these measure will fall under what is termed as Keynesian thesis after J M Keynes. Alternatively, one may call these Deficit financing. The idea is that the government uses its resources to increase consumption and liquidity which in turn increases demand and economic activity resulting in increased jobs and employment.
Written By: Afreen Baig
Foreign Reserves – a significant economic indicator and of vital importance to every expanding economy. Foreign Reserves is the first and basic economic indicator that transmits an air of confidence and trust, amongst the potential foreign & local investors and the nation. Foreign Reserves are held in abundance and accumulated – in order to sustain the confidence of a country’s capacity to carry out external trade confidently, to balance the momentum between demand & supply of foreign currencies, and also used as an intervention tool by the State Bank. Reserves also bail out the economy in times of financial crisis.
By October 2007, at the end of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz’s tenure, Pakistan raised back its Foreign Reserves to a handsome $16.4 billion. His exceptional policies kept our trade deficit controlled at $13 billion, exports boomed to $18 billion, revenue generation increased to become $13 billion and attracted foreign investment of $8.4 billion.
Pakistan recently has seen a drastic drop in its Reserves by 50% and its currency devalued by 40%, which has left ordinary people confused and the usual cynics have started heaping the blame onto the policies of Mr. Shaukat Aziz, without even knowing the basic macro-economic indicators nor understanding the relationship b/w Foreign reserves, Trade deficit and Currency devaluation.
The Trade deficit (Exports minus Imports) is always managed in ratio to Revenue generation, Capital inflows and Reserves. Almost all developing economies face the dread of trade deficit but their abundant foreign reserves gives them the fiscal space to overcome those grievances.