Asset 1

Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

Staff Reporter

The Nation

Published Date: Mar 29, 2018

Govt. economic agenda must respond to challenges

LAHORE – Noted economist Dr Hafeez A Pasha on Wednesday suggested the need for initiating a common economic agenda of self-reliance through political consensus.
He said that the future economic agenda of the government must respond to critical challenges that were stemming from a fragile state of economy. At a juncture when the nation was all set to undergo new elections, the experts busy discussing national economic agenda beyond CPEC and some key economic reforms becoming crucial for future economic roadmap, an equitable economic structure had become more significant, he added. He expressed these views while speaking at the symposium titled ‘State of the economy and future priorities’, held by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Pakistan and Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), here on Wednesday.
The symposium was clubbed with the launch of two books related to Pakistan’s national economy including ‘Growth and inequality in Pakistan’ by Eminent economist Dr Hafiz A, Pasha and ‘Pakistan’s Agenda for economic reforms’ by Dr Vaqar Ahmed. The excerpts from both the books were shared with the participants comprising leading economists, representatives from trade and business communities and media highlighting diverse aspects and issues pertaining to state of economy with federal as well as provincial lenses.
 
Dr Hafeez A Pasha suggested that water scarcity should be matter of urgent priority for the government whereas privatization of at least 11 state owned entities including PIA and Steel Mills must be a top priority.
"Likewise, the manufacturing sector needs to be strengthened whereas the tax systems which at present could be termed as the most inefficient in the world, should be rendered to a complete overhaul," he said.
He said that we need to change our economic thinking and while keeping the grave realities in view, should focus on transforming our economic thinking as a policy process.  He said however, the crisis that Pakistan likely to face in the near future will be the outcome of structural factors affecting the economy.
On this occasion, Provincial Finance Minister Dr Aisha Ghous Pasha said that the Punjab government strongly believes in a consensus economic agenda. She said that we have engaged all stakeholders including private sector and academia to come up with an enabling economic policy for exports and manufacturers.
She said that our approach was that regardless of who was coming in power, the economic policy must be responding to real needs and aspirations of all the stakeholders. The minister said that our government also believes that an economic policy should be export oriented, led by private sector and in alliance with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She said that we must acknowledge that in Pakistan, we have always been good in coming up with policies but lack implementation. Therefore, we are focusing on developing mechanisms for proper and better implementation on policies.
She said that high cost of energy and non-enabling tax mechanisms have been major constraints for investors and manufacturers and with the help of consultation with stakeholders, our government was seriously working on removing all these impediments and the forthcoming provincial budget would be reflective of this approach. She added further that the investment that took place in Punjab was result of our growth rate policy whereas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, it was based on development funds that province received for its particular situation.
She said that high cost of energy and non-enabling tax mechanisms have been major constraints for investors and manufacturers and with the help of consultation with stakeholders, our government was seriously working on removing all these impediments and the forthcoming provincial budget would be reflective of this approach. She added further that the investment that took place in Punjab was result of our growth rate policy whereas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, it was based on development funds that province received for its particular situation.
Earlier, Dr Vaqar Ahmed informed the participants that SDPI has recently conducted a survey of over 250 private sector entities comprising current, new or potential exporters.  "The survey revealed that Pakistan’s merchandise exports were continually facing multifarious issues. Thus, a delay of an effective trade policy has become an exacerbating issues," he said.
He said that cost of energy is still the largest item on balance sheets of industrial exporters.
He added further that the unit cost of electricity and gas as well as opening up of tax authorities in all provinces tax compliance cost has been increased. "The tax and other relevant regulatory bodies were not coordinating among themselves to expedite customs and trade facilitation reforms which could greatly bring down the cost of doing business," he said.
Likewise, he said, another key cost is the transportation and warehousing expenses especially in the case of high value or perishable items.
Dr Vaqar said that there was a dire need to improve the consultation around implementation of National Transport Policy 2017.
He said that the lack of banking channels at potential export destinations was preventing new demand for Pakistani products whereas the government offices responsible for export promotion including Pakistan’s embassies abroad were having weak engagement with exporters at home.
He added further that the fiscal support packages announced by the prime minister were accessible only by large exporters whereas such packages should only be given to new and potential exporters with innovative ideas.
He explained that the lack of product certifications and compliance with required product standards was not allowing optimal gains from free trade agreements and GSP+ scheme allowed by European Union.
"Most importantly, the regulatory burden and related costs faced by businesses have increased over time and it now takes longer to obtain or renew production permits and no-objection certificates, "he included.
 
Source: https://nation.com.pk/29-Mar-2018/govt-economic-agenda-must-respond-to-challenges-dr-hafeez