Published Date: Apr 12, 2017
Decentralization key to national economic growth: Dr Haq
Dr Nadeem-ul-Haq, former deputy chairman Planning Commission of Pakistan, has said that decentralisation is a key to national economic growth, saying that current centralised system is inefficient and incapable to address the economic challenges.
While delivering a lecture on his recent book ‘Looking Back: How Pakistan Can Become an Asian Tiger by 2050,’ organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Tuesday, Haq said the present economic system in Pakistan has become stale. Therefore, the system should be revamped with a decentralised and patterns based systems with a holistic approach.
Haq further said that the academia in Pakistan is lacking research whereas mainstream media in the country is also ignoring the development issues. The government is also not supporting inclusive discussion on national economic needs and hence, there cannot be developed a discourse that could have been fundamental in setting national goals and targets.
Haq during the lecture elaborated further that the country is mired in a patronage culture where merit and competition are two biggest casualties. He said, “We need to encourage and adopt innovative thinking and should get out of 1950s’ thinking. Moreover, we need to encourage knowledge and scientific method and a consumer culture in the country if we want to see a growing national economy.”
He said that Pakistan needs to institute drastic bureaucratic reforms, decentralisation and thoughtful urban planning to cultivate real prospect of development. Likewise, he said academia should be encouraged to shape up the research agenda if Pakistan has to achieve real and lasting economic growth, he said.
He said that the federal and provincial governments are gearing up to make their budgets, such deliberations have immense importance. He said it is an opportunity for the governments to revisit the current policies in the light of informed discussions on various budgetary aspects including free and fair taxation system, pro-poor public investments in infrastructure and social sectors as well as sustainable social safety nets programme for children, women, elderly and marginalised groups.
He said that the structured dialogue between the private and public sector can play crucial role in redressing issues related to productivity and exports. Besides, he said, the taxation regime should be made tax filer friendly.
Former Ambassador Shafqat Kakakhel also expressed his views and said that Dr Nadeemul Haq has highlighted key issues related to national economy in quite articulated manner. He said that the vision presented by Dr Haq should be made part of the development models and some of his suggestions should have been included in the Vision 2025 presented by the government.