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Published Date: Feb 25, 2014

SDPI Press Release (February 25, 2014)

Given the post-18th
amendment scenario, a top-down approach in the formulation of
development policies may not be very fruitful. This was expressed by
Hafiz Pasha, Former Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, at a
special meeting of experts on the “Economy of Tomorrow (EoT)” here today. The meeting was jointly organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Pakistan.

The
former Minister also observed that tax reforms have become extremely
crucial for Pakistan and that there is a need for a more redistributive
fiscal policy. The government should also be focusing more on short and
medium term policies aside from the Vision 2025.
He
added that there is a need for further strengthening the network of
institutions within the South Asian region. The media should be engaged
more proactively to promote the discourse of inclusive growth. The
privatization decision of the Government of Pakistan should take into
account labor interests and the impact on consumer welfare. Track 2
initiatives should work towards strengthening economic policies in a
more inclusive manner. He stressed that the reform process should be an
indigenous effort.

Speaking
at the occasion, Abid Suleri, Executive Director SDPI said that there
has been increased willingness of the political parties in Pakistan to
listen to and deliberate over issues of development. Vaqar Ahmed, Deputy
Executive Director SDPI, while summarizing the proceedings of the
three-day meeting, said that domestic resource mobilization in Pakistan
would remain a challenge, particularly in the context of social safety
nets. It is also important to ensure lower carbon emission with economic
growth in the country. He stressed that the reform process should be
undertaken through the government platform. There is a need for greater
dialogue at the sub-national levels for setting an economic growth and
development agenda, he observed.

Nadeem
Javaid, Advisor to the Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms
said that while energy and water security are top priorities of the
government, human capital formation is also an urgent need particularly
given the country’s demographic structure with over 30% of the
population under the age of 30.

Marc
Sexer Resident Representative, FES Thailand said that economic reform
and development requires political will. This can happen with
collaboration between institutions and by establishing a platform which
facilitates transition towards more inclusive economic regimes. There is
also a need to reconsider conventional economic thought and move
towards new ways of thinking which can lead to ‘socially just, resilient
and green dynamic growth’. In this context, the role of policy makers
is prime importance.

Philipp
Kauppert, Resident Representative, FES Pakistan remarked that the
political economic context should be closely considered in the debate
for economic growth and reform. He further observed that it is
encouraging to note that there is a momentum to build an integrated
regional model amongst South Asian countries. Muhammad Ziauddin, eminent
journalist reiterated that the media can also play an important role in
creating awareness for development reforms.

Ramgopal
Agarwala, Distinguished Economist from India highlighted that change
process in favor of development has to be led from within the country.
However, successful models from the developed countries can be
considered as guiding case studies instead of developing new frameworks
altogether.