PML-N wants Pak Govt to broaden trade with India to fight high inflation

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

LAHORE - The Pakistan Muslim League-N is likely to suggest to the Pakistan People’s Party-led federal government to broaden the trade scope of daily use commodities with India through land routes, as a first and vital step to curb high inflation in the country, according to PML-N sources.

The sources said the PML-N committee had a plan to discuss the matter in the presence of numerous economic brains of the country, the Daily Times reports.

The party wanted to realise a policy it shared with the PPP, that good neighbourly relations with India with broader economic stakes were in the best interest of Pakistan at a time when it was going through a severe economic crisis, they added.

A source close to the PML-N team said that Pakistan would have to open up trade routes with India if it wanted to help its ailing economy.

Presently, Pakistan accounts for less than one percent of India’s trade and India less than five percent of Pakistan’s trade, said the source, adding that Pakistan’s economy was better off when it had 70 percent of its trade with India and over 60 percent of India’s export went to Pakistan in the early 50s before the war, which subsequently resulted in tougher borders and shutting corridors of trade between the two countries.

The sources said the Pakistan government’s economic team had a lot to share with the PML-N team, including the fact that if political support was not offered to numerous corrective measures, the economy of the country was bound to come crashing down like a house of cards.

Pakistan’s debt-to-GDP ratio was over 60 percent, while the tax-to-GDP ratio was below 10 percent, which is an alarming fact not only for international monetary institutions, on whose crutches Pakistan’s economy is standing at the moment, but also for the domestic economic wizards, they added. (ANI)

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