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NUST Recommends Interest Rate Reduction to tackle economic challenges

The Institute of Policy Studies at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) has presented a thorough plan aimed at tackling Pakistan’s economic hurdles. Stressing the urgency of the situation, the institute has called for decisive action from both civilian and military leadership to address the country’s pressing economic issues.

NUST’s report identifies five major challenges confronting Pakistan’s economy: high fiscal and current account deficits, escalating debt levels, sluggish economic growth, and persistent inflation. It emphasizes the critical need to promptly tackle these challenges.

To address these issues, NUST proposes several measures. Firstly, it suggests an immediate reduction in the high policy interest rate, currently set at 22 percent, estimating significant annual savings with even a minor decrease. Additionally, the institute recommends consolidating the federal development budget over the next two years and refraining from initiating new infrastructure projects.

Moreover, the report advises expediting the privatization of state-owned enterprises such as Pakistan Steel Mills and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to mitigate financial losses. It also advocates for reforms in social welfare programs like the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), proposing a reduction in beneficiaries and fixed budget allocation.

NUST highlights the importance of sharing financial responsibilities with provincial governments, enhancing revenue generation, and implementing a point of sale system to streamline taxation, including sales tax.

In terms of human resource management, NUST suggests appointing highly qualified professionals to key ministries such as Finance, Planning, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Energy, Commerce, and Industry. It also recommends forming a specialized team to bolster exports, acknowledging the crucial support of friendly nations in Pakistan’s economic recovery and stability.

Overall, NUST’s comprehensive proposal underscores the necessity for coordinated efforts and strategic reforms to navigate Pakistan through its economic challenges and set the stage for sustainable growth and development.

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