Corruption hurts investments in Pakistan

Islamabad, August 10:

Corruption continues to be a major problem in Pakistan, where enforcement of contracts, financial obligations, bankruptcy laws and interpretation of tax laws remain difficult, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says.

Pakistan’s educational and human development indicators had remained weak, resulting in a workforce often ill-equipped with the skills necessary for value added productions, the IMF said in its latest working paper made available to Dawn. There was much room for improving physical infrastructure of the country, the current state of which contributed to high costs of doing business, it noted.

According to IMF, some impediments to domestic and foreign investment — political and security risks — could not easily be removed or offset with right economic policies but that should be viewed as challenge to do more and better than elsewhere in the region.

IMF senior resident representative in Pakistan Henri Lorie and senior economist in the IMF Resident Mission Zafar Iqbal are the authors of the working paper.

The World Bank’s investment climate surveys also suggest that Pakistan is behind India, China and even the Philippines in terms of providing an enabling environment for investors. “Clearly, further prog-ress can be made in Pakistan. For instance, property rights remain weak, because of poor land records.