The Express Tribune
Published Date: May 15, 2013
New govt. asked to focus on energy, economy and security
have called upon the new government to place energy, revival of economy and
establishing peace and security on top of its priorities.
a talk titled "Development Priorities for New Government" on Tuesday they said
that people need relief from prolonged energy crisis and shattered economy. The
event was organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), said a
press release issued by the institute.
Dr Tariq Banuri from the University of Utah, said that the new government must
devise a development strategy – a combination of growth strategy, social
sector strategy, energy strategy and innovation strategy coupled with
introduction of reforms and good governance measures.
noted that every new government comes with a sense of optimism to turn things
around and wished the new government to bring positive developments inscribed
in their manifestos. However, he said that continuity of process and policies
is fundamentally important to spur growth and development in the country.
to daunting challenges of revival of economy and energy crisis, he said that
economy can automatically be uplifted with radical expansion in energy
generation. He said that conventional energy resources are under lot of stress
and it is an established fact worldwide that future now lies in renewable
energy. He called upon the government to strategically invest in energy sector
with emphasis on renewable resources. He appreciated the start of Pak-Iran gas
pipeline project but showed his reservation which according to him has higher
rates as compared to international market.
said that Pakistan needs to learn from regional success models such as Malaysia
who through education and innovation, have transformed themselves into
knowledge economies. He said Pakistani economy needs critical reforms to be
able to stand on its feet where the most important contributor can be to have
substantial increase in tax to GDP ratio. Dr Banuri also talked of reforms in government
bureaucracy with particular emphasis on accountability and coherence of various
pillars of state such as judiciary and executive.
professor from the US said 44 per cent of power is produced from furnace which
results in very high tariff for consumers in the country. But this costly
electricity is heavily subsidised and consumers are charged nine rupees per
unit and in average 2-4 rupees per unit is paid by common consumers. He said
producing costly electricity and distributing it at subsidised prices cannot
work anywhere in the world. He also lamented lack of accountability regime and
management crisis which is contributing in the power crisis.
Institute of Development Economics Joint Director Dr Rehana Siddiqui urged the
new government to devise policies for youth which she said is a huge
demographic dividend but no serious effort has been made to tape this resource.
SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, said that Pakistani voters
seemed to opt for performance and now the elected government has to deliver on
its promises. He added the first challenge is to take the ownership of budget
which has already been prepared by bureaucracy and negotiate with IMF for loan
otherwise Pakistan is on the verge of default. He urged government to revise
energy mix and plug the loopholes to address energy crisis. He said revival of
economy could be a laborious task but plugging the loopholes can provide some
relief to people in short time.