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The Express Tribune

Published Date: Feb 25, 2014

Economy of Tomorrow: Experts call for tax reforms and redistributive policies

Given the post-18th amendment scenario, a top-down approach
for the formulation of development policies may not be very fruitful, said
Hafiz Pasha, former minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, at a special
meeting of experts on the “Economy of Tomorrow (EoT)” here on Tuesday. 

The meeting, jointly organised by the Sustainable
Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES)
Pakistan, served as a platform for economists to debate policy matters in

Pasha said that tax reforms have become extremely crucial
for Pakistan and there is a need for a more redistributive fiscal policy. The
government should focus more on short and medium-term policies aside from the
Vision 2025, he stressed. He added that there is a need to further
strengthening the network of institutions within the South Asian region.

The decision to privatise on such a large scale should take
into account labour interests and the impact on consumer welfare.

Speaking at the occasion, SDPI Executive Director Abid
Suleri said that there has been increased willingness from political parties to
listen to and deliberate over issues of development. SDPI Deputy Executive
Director Vaqar Ahmed said that domestic resource mobilisation in Pakistan would
remain a challenge, particularly in the context of social safety nets.

He stressed that the reform process should be undertaken
through the government platform.

Nadeem Javaid, Adviser to the Minister for Planning,
Development and Reforms, said that, while energy and water security are top
priorities for the government, human capital formation is also an urgent need
particularly given the country’s demographic structure with over 30% of the
population under the age of 30.

Marc Sexer Resident Representative, FES Thailand, said that
economic reform and development requires political will.

Philipp Kauppert, Resident Representative, FES Pakistan
remarked that the political economic context should be closely considered in
the debate for economic growth and reform. He further observed that it is
encouraging to note that there is a momentum to build an integrated regional
model amongst South Asian countries.