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Published Date: Apr 12, 2017

Expert stresses decentralization of economic system

There is an urgent need for decentralisation of the economic system in Pakistan as it has become stale, overly centralised and hence inefficient and incapable of redressing the challenges.
This was stated by Dr Nadeemul Haque, a former deputy chairman of the Planning Commission of Pakistan.
“The system should be revamped with a decentralised patterns based systems with a holistic approach,” he said while delivering a lecture on his recent book: Looking Back: How Pakistan Became an Asian Tiger by 2050.
The lecture was organised at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Tuesday.
“The serious issue is that academia in Pakistan is lacking research whereas mainstream media is ignoring development issues,” Dr Haque said.
He elaborated that the country was mired in a patronage culture where merit and competition were two biggest causalities.
“We need to encourage and adopt innovative thinking and should get out of the 1950s’ thinking. We need to encourage knowledge and scientific method and a consumer culture in the country if we want to see a growing national economy.”
Dr Haque added that Pakistan needed to institute drastic bureaucratic reforms, decentralisation and thoughtful urban planning to cultivate real prospects of development.
He said the academia should be encouraged to shape up the research agenda if Pakistan was to achieve a real and lasting economic growth.
He said the government was also not supporting an inclusive discussion on national economic needs and as a result a discourse could not be developed that could have been fundamental in setting national goals and targets.
Dr Vaqar Ahmed, the deputy executive director SDPI, earlier said when the federal and provincial governments were gearing up to make their budgets such deliberations had an immense importance.
He said it was 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 net programmes for our children, women, elderly and the marginalised groups.
He said the structured dialogue between the private and public sector could play a crucial role in redressing issues related to productivity and exports.