Published Date: Mar 29, 2018
National consensus urged to form economic plan
LAHORE: Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Punjab Finance Minister, said that the Punjab government strongly believed in developing a consensus over the economic agenda, adding that all stakeholders – including private sector and the academia – should come up with ideas to enable the economic policy for exports and manufacturers.
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) on Wednesday, she said the approach of the government was to build an economic policy for whoever came to power which must respond to the real needs and aspirations of all the stakeholders.
The Punjab finance minister added that the government believed in an economic policy that is export-oriented, which is led by the private sector and in alliance with the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
“We are focusing on developing mechanisms for proper and better implementation of policies…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 is seriously working on removing all these impediments and the forthcoming provincial budget would be reflective of this approach,” she said.
She said that the investment that took place in Punjab was a result of the growth rate policy whereas, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, it was based on the development funds that province received for its particular situation.
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 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 the state of the economy with federal as well as provincial lenses.
Abdul Qadir, while representing FES, informed the participants that the objective of holding the discussion was to solicit suggestions and recommendations from the stakeholders for the desired policy action. The leading experts from different sectors of the economy also shared their views with the participants and highlighted the challenges related to correcting the national economy. The experts suggested that a national political consensus was the need of hour to meet the fundamental economic reforms as a way forward for the national economy.