The economic growth of any country depends directly upon its internal and external governmental policies. For example, after the collapse of communism, the superpowers shifted their primary focus from economic activity to security-related issues with the result that their economies have nose-dived now. Similarly, due to incompetent political and administrative policies over the decades, our country was forced to seek loans from the IMF, which has its own political agenda for its clients and insists only on tax collection rather than productivity. The fact is that our economic advisers have always been bankers and nothing more than IMF liaison officers for our country. If we try to follow IMF injunctions to escalate tax collection to 15% of our GDP, we are sure to further impoverish our population to starvation levels. The IMF has been estimating our GDP rate through arbitrary speculations because ours is a largely illiterate country with no documentation whatsoever of the economic activity. The inflated GDP figures presented by our tax authorities are only meant to fleece people of whatever they possess. Our government must shift its focus from mere security concerns to growth-oriented policies and save the country from the dismal prospects of poverty growth strife. -AHMAD HASSAN, Muzaffargarh, via e-mail, January 18.