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Our Correspondent

The Express Tribune

Published Date: Mar 29, 2018

Country lags behind in policy implementation, says Punjab minister

LAHORE: The government strongly believes in building consensus on the economic agenda and in this regard Punjab has engaged diverse stakeholders, including the private sector and the academia, in order to come up with an enabling economic policy for exporters and manufacturers, said Punjab Finance Minister Ayesha Ghaus Pasha.
Speaking at a symposium titled ‘State of the Economy and Future Priorities’, Pasha said, “Regardless of whoever comes to power, the economic policy must respond to real needs and aspirations of all the stakeholders.”
The event was organised by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Pakistan and Sustainable Development Policy Institute on Wednesday. It coincided with the launch of two books on Pakistan’s economy which included ‘Growth and Inequality in Pakistan’ by Dr Hafiz A Pasha and ‘Pakistan’s Agenda for Economic Reforms’ by Dr Vaqar Ahmed.
“Our government also believes that economic policy should be export-oriented, led by the private sector and in alliance with sustainable development goals (SDGs),” the Punjab finance minister said.
“We must acknowledge that in Pakistan we have always been good in coming up with policies but lag behind in implementation.”
The minister cited high cost of energy and lack of enabling tax mechanism as major constraints for investors and manufacturers. “With the help of consultation with stakeholders, our government is seriously working on removing all these impediments and the forthcoming provincial budget will be reflective of this approach,” she added.
Speaking on the occasion, Hafeez Pasha emphasised that future economic agenda of the government must respond to the critical challenges stemming from the fragile state of economy.
“At a juncture when the nation is all set to hold new elections, experts are busy discussing the national economic agenda beyond CPEC; some key economic reforms are becoming crucial for the future economic roadmap and an equitable economic structure has become more significant,” he said.