The PML-N made bold claims in its 2013 manifesto. How many of those promises did it keep?
It’s only by improving the lives of the people does one fulfill a democratic mandate.
Budget deficit and tax-to-GDP ratio
—Through reforms in the Federal Board of Revenue and the tax system, the PML-N will strive to improve the tax-to-GDP ratio to 15 percent by 2018. Informal economy will be brought into the tax net and the tax base will be broadened.
—To tax all income and to achieve greater equity in the tax system by increasing dependence on direct taxes.
—Budget deficit will be brought down to four percent of GDP.
After five years:
The government did consistently improve the tax-to-GDP ratio, but still wasn’t able to achieve what it promised in its manifesto.
But what’s more important is that the PML-N increased indirect taxes and the overall ratio of direct and indirect taxes did not change. This also means that the tax base was not broadened.
The government did, nonetheless, made progress on reducing the budget deficit and almost met its target in 2018.
—Inflation will be brought down to single digit in the range of seven or eight percent by limiting government borrowing and lowering interest rates through effective monetary policy.
After five years:
The PML-N succeeded in curbing inflationary pressures due to a host of factors, including low oil prices, stable exchange rate as well as its decision to stabilise the support price for wheat.
The food and general inflation figures are now at the lowest since a decade at 1.6 percent and 3.2 percent respectively, which is a great achievement and must be acknowledged, though the question of sustainability still lingers, especially since international oil prices are out of the country’s control.