Published Date: Apr 18, 2019
Attack on 18th Amendment highly inappropriate: Pasha
PESHAWAR: Renowned economist and former Minister for Finance, Dr Hafiz A Pasha has said that the recent attack on 18th Constitutional Amendment is highly inappropriate.
He was addressing a pre-budget meeting and launch of the book ‘Growth & Inequality in Pakistan’ here in a local hotel on Wednesday. The ceremony was organized under the Sustainable Development Policy Initiative (SDPI) in collaboration with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and IM Sciences here.
Besides, senior officials of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, a large number of businessmen, academia and students of various educational institutions attended the ceremony at large.
Dr Pasha defended the 18th Constitutional Amendment and said that the legislation was a big achievement that had developed the country and has promoted the sense of autonomy and participation in the federating units. He said that the amendment has also promoted the diversity of unity, which is another benefit of the democracy. However, he said that had not fully implemented so far.
He said that efforts should be made to implement the 9th National Finance Commission (NFC) Award completely and faithfully.
The renowned economist stressed need for bringing change in the planning and development its provincialization and establishment of a framework for the planning commission. He said that provinces have been authorized for the utilization of domestic funds.
He said that instead of following the path of security, we should go for development. He said that the needs of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were taken into consideration in last NFC Award that had benefited the province.
He said that the giving of the 9th NFC Awards will go in benefit of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as the population of the province has been increased and if population growth and merger of FATA was also taken into consideration then the share of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will go up in the federal divisible pool.
In last NFC, the KP was given 14.6 percent in the divisible pool and now if goes up to 17.2 percent then it would receive over Rs70 billion more. However, he said that a big amount of Rs350 billion distributed in wake of NFC among the provinces, but according to research they were utilized judiciously in some areas.
Regarding economic conditions, he acknowledged that they are not so good and as unemployment and price hike have been increased manifold. He said that after signing agreement with International Monetary Fund (IMF), there would be need for increase in ratio of tax collection in proportion to GDP and in next four years KP province would be required to collect Rs40 billion to Rs50 billion revenues.
He said that after bringing decline in poverty, the provincial government would be required to frame a provincial social protection plan and termed Insaf Rozgar Scheme of the provincial government a step forwards to that direction.
He reiterated China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPECP) as game changer, saying KP due to geographical and proximity with China is in more advantageous position than other parts of the country. He for this purpose stressed for promotion of value chain and said that Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Rashakai can play big role in this regard.