Trust that we all, by now, are quite familiar with the broad economic solutions regularly advocated by experts to resurrect the ailing Pakistani economy, promote domestic and foreign investment, bring down the cost of manufacturing and doing business per se in Pakistan, encourage entrepreneurship, enhance employment generation, ensure credit availability to the private sector, renew focus on growth, fix the energy crisis, equitable distribution, austerity and fiscal tightening on the governments front, increase tax to GDP ratio, keep inflation under check and the currency stable, overcome institutional mismanagement and control corruption (Vow). What seems to be missing, however, are the elements of coordination, convergence of objectives of all stakeholders, work in tandem by relevant forces and the tiers of government that matter, and intent and competence. Little wonder that instead of moving forward, we seem to be going backwards: A new report from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank finds that doing business in Pakistan is actually becoming more difficult, and unless quickly checked the pace of investment outflow to other locations (options) within our region will gain further momentum; let alone hoping for any meaningful investment inflows into Pakistan. Doing Business 2012: Doing Business in a More Transparent World, in fact, states that recent economic reforms being undertaken by the Government of Pakistan hinder business activity, rather than helping it The government in its defence will argue that look we are making all the right moves: The Planning Commission is trying to promote entrepreneurship and growth, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is busy sending the right signals by revising the interest rate down by 200 basis points within a short span of eight weeks and by facilitating SME financing in allowing forced sale value adjustment in the provisioning for the banking sectors non-performing loans (NPLs), the Commerce Ministry is aggressively taking up trade promotion and market access initiatives with India, EU and the USA, and the Finance Ministry is pumping additional liquidity into PEPCO to ease the power shortage and contemplating renegotiating some adverse existing terms with the IMF. So, why are things still going wrong? For one, in management, the efforts need to be synchronised meaning, you cannot expect the engine to run while you change the plugs, but dont fix the broken piston; and two, you cannot win a Gran Prix, even if you have the best Formula I car, because a bad driver can overturn it in the first lap While there are numerous areas and examples amplifying disconnect between government policies and its incompetence of management, owing to the space constraint of this article, I will restrict to highlighting a single in each of the above two categories of failure. On the first, while the State Bank may have done its bit, but this means that the ball is now in the court of the government. Now, if the Pakistani government does not respond by, in turn, tightening its belt, acting swiftly to operate upon the public sector enterprises in order to stop them from bleeding, pick up the courage to explicitly set prudent economic targets and impose financial discipline on its own excessive borrowing-cum-money printing, this exercise of the SBP in fact runs the inherent danger of instead becoming counterproductive. Fear is that so far this governments track record has not been very encouraging in exercising self-discipline or yielding to prudent spending. With elections looming, the risk is that it could very easily turn to party time with more salary increases, and more populist programmes both at the federal level and the provinces with each vying to outspend the other. Meaning, the nightmare of the fiscal deficit slipping to +8 percent becoming a reality amidst sharply reduced foreign inflows and with no real prospects of launching more international bonds, this would then mean another round of increased government borrowing to finance the fiscal deficit. Such a cycle, as we already know, is 'inflationary and would imply that in effect we are again back to square one: Crowding out the private sector, a stifled environment for growth and job creation, and a resurge in inflation. Confusing? Yes surely, but to put it simply what it basically means is that it is of utmost importance that the money invested, on the one hand, to seek growth needs to be recovered, on the other hand, through financial discipline and by ensuring that it is spent only in productive areas that yield returns. Lastly, the fruits of such investments should be shared equitably - good governance For the second, while a good gun is certainly an advantage, but what matters is the person behind the gun. I have always maintained that asking a person for his or her money is an unnatural act and that is why tax collection is an art, which requires imagination, transparency, reciprocity, fair play, and an element of entrepreneurship on part of the collector. The taxpayer needs to be motivated, recognised, befriended, and assured that not only will his money be put to good collective use, but also that the people responsible for its management are equal stakeholders. And it is in this context that the news about even the Finance Minister and Commerce Ministers being amongst the non-filers of their assets statement to the Election Commission does not help Again, it is no breaking news that Pakistans tax to GDP ratio needs to climb up and that too quickly, but what we need today are more taxpayers (a broadened tax base), increased role of the provinces (post-18th Amendment) in revenue generation and collection, and not mere witch-hunting. This is where entrepreneurship in 'Tax Collection Management comes in. To take a risk by placing trust in ones own people and innovating fresh initiatives to raise revenues by inducing non-taxpayers to convert to taxpayers. Ironically, what we see today in our FBR is a typical obsolete managerial approach employing coercion, mistrust and bureaucratic rigidity as tools to shore up additional revenues. What they do not realise is that such methods are not just counterproductive and unsustainable, but sadly also cause a much serious long-term damage that over time shows in-flight of capital and expansion of undocumented economy at the expense of documented economy. The trouble is that time is running out and frustration is growing. To keep me going, I regularly remind myself of the Schumpeters philosophy that noise is good, because it is heard and, therefore, cannot remain unnoticed; however, my fear is that what if it is falling on deaf ears The writer is an entrepreneur and economic analyst. Email: kamalmannoo@hotmail.com