As population in Pakistan (especially employable youth) grows at a rapid pace, employment generation falters in the densely populated urban centres and government revenues continue to dwindle, our economic managers ironically maintain their folly in overlooking 'growth - baffling No one is asking for stimulus packages from a government starved for cash and on a credit binge, but one may ask that what is stopping them from simply putting their own house in order? For example, to name only a few points, prioritising energy supplies to the industry; announcing tax credits for creating new jobs; managing law and order on a war footing, especially in the key industrial areas; facilitating management-labour relations; appointing merit based managements in the public sector enterprises; and ensuring greater banking access to the private sector these are pure policy measures, which do not need rupee dole-outs, yet go a long way in correcting the economic direction, demonstrating the governments resolve cum seriousness in lifting the national business environment; improving its perception per se; and most importantly, generating greater economic (GDP) growth. On the other hand, our regional neighbour, India, has moved to an even higher gear. New Delhi, in its recent budget, has started seriously talking about how it can match Chinas double-digit growth. Its new policy paper argues that, in the long run, their countrys superior soft architecture - symbolised by its robust, if imperfect, democracy - means its growth will be more sustainable than Chinas. That though may be debatable and even if it is not true, what it does surely mean is that the promise of a fast growth in Indias tomorrow gives its impoverished masses much hope today. A recent Oxford University survey finds that there are more desperately poor people living in eight Indian states than in the entire Sub-Saharan Africa. India as we know has so far been consistently growing at roughly 8.50 percent a year since 2005, and in spite of being significantly locked into the global financial scene has weathered the recent financial crisis better than most. However, the India administrations real challenge remains how to effectively use their economic expansion to alleviate poverty. They want to follow the Chinese model, because time and again over the last two decades China has shown that increasingly faster growth is the best way of attacking poverty. Its dynamism and growth is not only reaping internal benefits for itself, but also at the same time bolstering confidence in the entire region. Goldman Sachs Group has not only raised its forward 2011 ratings for China, but also for the overall Asian stocks on an average All very well, but then the logical question that will invariably be asked at home will be: What precisely is China doing that we in Pakistan can emulate? For starters, we need to take note that regional realities and geographical challenges in China carry a lot of commonalities with those in Pakistan, and with this in mind what becomes clear is that, as done by China, our key in promoting growth also lies in raising the abysmal agricultural productivity at home. More needs to be done to improve rural access to finance and for introducing best accounting practices. Productivity must be raised through vastly improved infrastructure, something that can mostly be addressed at the governmental level. Further, keeping at this one needs to look closely at liberalising retail - controversial because of its perceived effect on a large number of small-scale shopkeepers - as in all likelihood it should help, since big retailers would in such a case tend to work more closely with the farmers to raise their efficiency. Then there is a broader point: Deepening Pakistans structural reforms remain the best way of raising its growth potential. There may be some truth in the argument that Pakistans low financial connectivity to the global mainstream finance and its relatively conservative regulation of banks protected it from the global financial crisis. However, such a lesson should not be falsely extrapolated, as a warning against all market-friendly reforms. The present government should give liberalisation another push, albeit with the mastery, maturity and prudence that not only protects unnecessary exposure of our self-interests, but also ensures reciprocity to Pakistan vis--vis market access and trade gains. It should scale back unproductive subsidies, encourage foreign investment and revamp restrictive labour practices. It should also extend the financial services - including greater provision of banking to the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector and the poor - to improve returns for the countrys industrious savers. Equitable distribution and greater inclusiveness are benchmarks over which Pakistan have not performed well so far. It needs to devote more resources to scandalously neglected basic health and education. This would not only spread the fruits of growth to the poor, but also create a healthier, better-educated labour force for the future. Ensuring that growth benefits the most number of people is partly a matter of prioritising, but it also means creating more wealth. Care should be taken that we refrain from taking any populist, but unhealthy decisions or policy measures that hurts the creation of wealth, as this would further exacerbate the current problem relating to the growth in undocumented economy being higher than the growth of the documented economy. Because, given the realities of our populations mix and an ever growing public frustration, only high growth can provide the desperately required hope and opportunities. And in order to achieve this, if setting a maddening growth target is what would galvanise Pakistan to shake off it prevalent air of complacency, then it is certainly worth a try The writer is an entrepreneur and an economic analyst. Email: