Published Date: Dec 5, 2018
Evening Session of 21st Sustainable development Conference
Govt simplifying tax laws, reforming PRAL, says Revenue Minister
BRI, CPEC sources of connectivity among countries in different
Noman Wazir proposes to sign ‘Charter of Economy’
(Dec 5, 2018): Railways
Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad invited India and Russia to join China-Pakistan
Economic Corridor (CPEC), claiming that Asian look is going to change through
was speaking at a penal titled: Connecting for Trade and Development: Issues
and Prospects of Land Transport, Corridors of South Asia, organized on the
first day of 21st Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) held under the
auspices of Sustainable Development Policy Institute here on Wednesday.
are currently working on ML1 and ML2. We want to work with every nation to
improve our economy,” he said, adding that with our available financial
resources, we are committed to open more feasible and productive ways for trade
and transportation. He said 80 per cent of Afghanistan is controlled by Taliban,
so we need to wait should we make routes through Afghanistan to trade with other
Nagesh Kumar, Head of UNESCAP, India, said that the cost of doing trade with
South Asia is more than doing trade with America. Some initiatives are taking
place to improve transport connectivity, he said, adding that UNESCAP is
working on improving and signing treaties for UNESCAP and dry ports should be
connected with each other.
Kabiri, senior advisor to Finance Minister of Afghanistan, said that
Afghanistan is not a land-locked but a land bridged country, which connects
South Asian countries to Central Asian states.
Husan Bano, Chief of Party of PREIA project, said that we should remove the
distrust between regional countries. She said that once we have the corridor,
we need to allow transport in a reliable manner.
Pares Khareil, SWATEE, Nepal said that the transit agreement in South Asia is
bilateral therefore new Transit Agreements are needed.
Guntur Sugiyarto, Principal Economist, Asian Development Bank, said that
Pakistan is located in strategic location holding a key for land-locked
countries with the access for key to world in the sea of Gwadar.
at a session titled: Blue Economy in
South Asia: Prospects for Cooperation Dr Pawan Patil, World Bank
Representative, said that blue economy is the sustainable use of ocean economy
which should be given social and environmental evaluation so that this sector
can be sustained for the coming generations.
Amitabh Kundu, Distinguished Fellow at Research and Information System for
Developing Countries, India said that blue economy questions the type of
development we want to achieve as it encompasses different spheres of social,
economic, and environmental considerations.
Muhammad Abbas Hassan, Research Associate at the Institute of Strategic
Studies, stressed the need to explore new opportunities for recreation industry
to invest to boost our economic outcomes. He suggested to formulate national
maritime policies in line with international maritime laws.
Saira Ahmed from Capital University of Science and Technology, Islamabad,
suggested engaging private sector in formulating national policies for the
efficient use of maritime resources.
Deng, Country Program Manager, World Bank, said Pakistan can achieve more human
capital, economic and inclusive growth, better jobs and conserved environment
by bringing about structural reforms in its policies and innovative financial
investment in blue economy.
Imran Khalid, Research Fellow, SDPI highlighted the need to restrict industrial
and municipal wastewater pollution that is impacting our coastal communities.
at a concurrent session titled: Fiscal
Policies in South Asia: Why is Revenue Mobilization so Challenging?,
Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar said the government is committed to
taking right decisions, which also include hard decisions. “An honest and
transparent approach is what we need right now to come out of this financial
urgency.” He said the government will be simplifying tax laws and making
efforts in homogenizing tax collection in the provinces. “We have already made
efforts to tax mobile phones coming into Pakistan which will generate Rs10
billion every year. Furthermore, the government will be reforming Pakistan
Revenue Automation Ltd (PRAL) and utilizing their databases to pursue tax
on South Asia’s low tax-to-GDP ratio, Mr Robert Beyer, World Bank Economist
from Washington D.C. said that while there are no differences in tax
instruments from the rest of the world, South Asia still strives to improve its
Dushni Weerakon from the Institute of Policy Studies, Sri Lanka said that South
Asian countries have up to 80% of taxes as fiscal, putting burden on population.
Hamza Malik from UNESCAP Thailand urged governments to take responsibility of
fiscal decisions, generate tax morale and not to rely blindly on IMF expertise.
The practice of public spending in final year of government should also stop,
at a panel titled: Corridors of
Knowledge for Peace and Development, Chinese Deputy Chief of Mission in
Pakistan Zhao Lijian said Belt and Road initiative (BRI) along with China-Pakistan
Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a source of connectivity among countries in
different regions. He said Pakistan and China have been actively promoting
cultural connectivity through people-to- people contacts since a long.
A. Sidiqov, Representative of Embassy of Uzbekistan, pointed out social, cultural,
and economic gaps between Pakistan and Uzbekistan that hamper the relations
between the two countries. He suggested using knowledge sharing as a key
component in filling these gaps.
(retd) Khalid Amir Jaffery, President of Center for Global and Strategic
Studies, highlighted the shift of Pakistani students from western education to
Asian universities in the past few years.
core essence of the panel discussion was to introduce new student exchange
programmes between all the BRI countries.
at a concurrent penal titled: Regional
Economic Corridors in Central and South Asia, Senator Noman Wazir Khattak for
Pakistan Tehrik Insaf proposed to sign ‘Charter of Economy’ by all the
political stakeholders. Stressing the need for developing future goals for
long-term sectoral and urban/rural economy, he pointed out the lack of
technical advancement in the government and a considerably higher
competitiveness in the private sector.
Aliya Khan, Advisor to prime minister on economy, said that the government is
ready to move beyond Pakistan’s reliance on textile to enhance its exports. She
also highlighted enhancement in competitiveness to form the core component of
the government’s medium-term framework. She said our vocational and educational
institutions need to produce trained workforce and develop their capacity for
technologically advanced products.
Sarfaraz Pervez from Asian Development Bank said the economic corridors have
been mistaken as infrastructure corridors, considered to eventually graduate
into economic corridors. It is more appropriate to align the corridors around
business, and go for institutional development, political commitment, resource
allocation and technical facilities to be able to reap the benefits of an
economic corridor. He said Pakistan has an untapped trade potential of 75% in
Ramay, CEO, Zalme Foundation, said “we need to learn from the success models of
Europe and China to achieve our business aspirations. He pointed out that political
economy forms the basis of whether the potential benefits of economic corridors
reach the population.
Jagdesh Pokhral from Nepal shared the success stories from his country, and how
his country restructured its cities to benefit from national and regional
at a concurrent session titled: Knowledge
connectivity between Asia and Europe, former caretaker finance minister
Shamshad Akhter said that in today’s world knowledge
connectivity plays a key role to foster innovation and drives a country towards
sustainable development and economic growth.
Mr Ville Varjola, advisor on economic affairs
Brussels, highlighted the significance of Asia in trade and geography and
climatic problems. He also pointed out the the difference between transport and
and Road Initiative despite being a success still lacks a basic template, said Dr
Safdar Sohail, Director-General, National Institute of Management.
Waqas Naeem, CEO, Ericsson Pakistan, focused on adopting digitized methods of
Anne Kofoed , Head of Sector Development and Governance , European Union (EU) Delegation
to Pakistan, highlighted different projects of the EU is running in Pakistan.
Imran Shouqat, advisor to Health Ministry, called for promoting
self-accountability for building trust in the eyes of international investors.
at a penal titled: Avenues for
Climate-resilient Development through Regional Collaboration”, Shafqat
Kakakhel, chairman of SDPI Board of Governors, said India and Pakistan must
incorporate dryland areas management in their regional bilateral dialogues.
Effects of climate change are cross boarder and develop similar effects on both
countries. He stressed the need for incorporating knowledge-based activities in the policy
Ludi, Representative from Overseas Development Institute, UK called for
creating an enabling and conductive environment for horizontal and vertical
development in drylands. She also stressed the need for accurate information,
structure of economy, local and international support to convert drylands in
the impact of carbon emissions on Himalayan region, Dr Kallur Murali from International
Development Research Centre, India said we can lose 64% of the total Himalayan
glacier volumes till 2100 if current rate of carbon emissions is not reduced.
about migration as a natural phenomenon, Mr Kashif Salik from University of
South Hampton, UK said that migration, a socially-embedded process, is not a
problem rather an opportunity, which requires immediate policy measures by the
Nathe, representative of the Overseas Development Institute, appreciated the
role of SDPI in engaging parliamentarians for managing drylands.
Babar Shahbaz from Agriculture University Faisalabad suggested implementing
multi-sectoral policies to initiate climate change development in compliance
with every sector.
at a penal titled: Readiness of Private
Sector to Tap in Business Opportunities in Central Asia Region, experts
said by taking initiatives like Belt and Road Initiative, we will be able to
introduce our private sector in central Asia, which will help enhance the
volume of our trade with them. They highlighted that central Asian region
(especially Uzbekistan, Tajikistan) are rich in mineral resources like coal and
oil. If the trade route is developed between Pakistan and this region, we will
be able to export cotton to increase our economy. The experts said China is
also doing trade within this region under the Belt and Road initiative. “There
are two problems in maintaining relation between the two, one is structural and
the other one is lack of flights between two countries.” Experts also
emphasized that for the success of CPEC we should also include central Asian
countries in it. “We should give time to finance minister to make reforms to
improve public sector business in central Asian region.” Dr. Ashfaque Hassan from
NUST concluded that Central Asian region should also be included in the project
of CPEC as peace and stability are more important in Afghanistan and Pakistan