Almost two weeks after the first IMF tranche of $1.1 billion came in to shore up Pakistan’s economic outlook, the Rupee continues to perform poorly against the US dollar. The weakness in our currency indicates that external financing by international lenders alone will not be the answer to structural economic problems.

Experts have highlighted that one of the reasons for this loss in value is due to unfulfilled commitments of financing by friendly countries, promised after the IMF tranche came in. While the money from the MF has been injected, the foreign state assistance has not come in, making the forecast of Rs10-20 potentially gained after the funding invalid.

But regardless of whether funding has come in or not, Pakistan cannot constantly rely on foreign injections from friends and partners to be able to make its import payment commitments. One of the core issues remains foreign exchange reserves. Our continued reliance on imports makes it impossible for the State Bank to possess anything more than the 1.5-month buffer we currently have.

On the export front, things remain grim. While there have been efforts to foster industry growth and localisation, these attempts have been few and far in between. Progress has been seen in the handheld cellphone market for instance, but the fact that we still do not make the most high-end phones for both the local and international market all but ensures that our import-to-export ratio in this industry will remain skewed as well.

The government was looking to take our economy on the path of fiscal responsibility to avoid a default or more dire conditions here at home. But now that stability measures have been taken, the government’s next responsibility is to rejuvenate growth and business activity. Simple fixes can help before we start overhauling our manufacturing and tech sectors. To start with, one of the major issues of guaranteeing a stable energy supply to industries remains unresolved. Look to work on the quick fixes alongside making long-term plans and we might slowly increase the value of the currency. If we keep putting out fires through external financing, out of which a major chunk goes to debt servicing, we won’t see much change until the global market rights itself. We must look inwards to see where we can best improve our situation.