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The Express Tribune

Published Date: Sep 23, 2017

Countering corruption needs greater political inclusion, says experts

The absence of an inclusive political process seems to have allowed space for corruption, abuse of power and cronyism to creep into the governance structures of the country.
This was stated by Dr Shahrukh Rafi in a special lecture on “catching up growth – its effective governance that matters” organised by the Sustainable Policy Development Institute (SDPI) in collaboration with American Institute of Policy Studies on Friday.
Dr Rafi, a visiting professor of economics at Mount Holyoke College, said that social Justice, an inclusive political process and motivated citizenry are the pre-requisites for achieving effective governance.
The very basics for social justice are building a relationship of an effective government with the motivated citizenry, making political process inclusive, reducing the cost of doing businesses and catering to the basic human freedoms and needs with a participatory approach, he explained.
The professor added that by building equity and social justice, a country can catch up to its growth targets and hence achieve the salient features of good governance.
Referring to a study he conducted, Dr Rafi said that amid the increasing gap between the rich and poor, Asian countries in particular need to move towards a process of incentives and actions leading to effective government  – if they really want their development strategies to be implemented.
In Pakistan, he said, an exclusive political process had given rise to corruption and cronyism which exact a cost on social justice and fairplay in the society.
He proposed a new strategy towards development – one which prioritises industrialisation and a competition policy which promotes transparency in doing business.
Dr Tariq Benuri, the founding executive director of SDPI, said that Asian countries were compared in the 1960s and then in 1980s on the basis of equity, education and health. But the intervening period did not see much change.