to debate on Pakistan’s economic policies
at a seminar at the Government College University Lahore have laid a
stress on the government to also focus on rural poverty and public
services, saying that inclusive growth policy is must for the country’s
economic growth and national security.
Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir
Shah chaired the one-day seminar organized by the university’s Economics
Department to debate on Pakistan’s economic policies in the light Shahid
Ahmad’s latest book “RENTIER CAPITALISM”
In his opening remarks, Shahid Ahmed,
a banker and former editor of United Nation’s Asia Pacific Development
Journal, said that the success of East and South-East Asia had not been
accidental; rather it had been driven by action to reduce rural poverty.
He said that Pakistan had never confronted the problem of rural poverty
since 1950s, nor invested in public services. This failure is a
reflection of the power of the landed gentry and its urban allies. He
said that the government must need to focus on the education and health
services and develop infrastructure such as roads, ports and railways in
rural areas to develop particular industries there. He believed the now
country's ruling elite sharing out the spoils amongst themselves rather
than taking measures to grow the size of the economy so that all might
share in the resulting prosperity.
Addressing the seminar via video link,
Dr Ijaz Nabi, a world renowned economist, said Pakistan needs an
economic model which ensures inclusive growth which is must for its
national security. He said that inclusive growth must be the part of
Pakistan’s national security policy. He said in Malaysia, it was ethic
confrontation which forced their ruling elite to adopt the policy of
inclusive growth for their survival; especially the provision of equal
high education opportunities to all. Dr Ijaz Nabi said that what should
incentivize or motivate the ruling elite in Pakistan to have inclusive
growth is national security.
Speaking on the occasion, Mirza Khalid Baig, the former chairman of
Competition Commission of Pakistan, said that Pakistan taxation system
had become highly complicated. He says “it’s not going to work and would
promote nothing but tax evasion.” He said Shahid Ahmed in his book had
very simply explained the reasons behind Pakistan's failure to bring
prosperity to its people when compared to other East Asian and
South-East Asian countries.
Vice Chancellor Prof Hassan Shah,
Artists Association of Pakistan Chairman Prof Mian Ijaz ul Hassan and
Economics Department Chairperson Uzair Ahsan also spoke at the seminar.