ISLAMABAD, Jun 1 (APP): Speakers at a seminar on Wednesday were unanimous in their views that expanding exports and improvement in the system of tax collection were the pre-requisites for boosting the national economy.
The seminar titled “Towards Economic Independence” was organized by the Information Service Academy (ISA) as part of academic activities of Information Group trainee officers. It was also part of events scheduled for Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Dr Hidayatullah Khan from the University of Modern Languages, Saddam Hussain -Research Economist from Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) and Saba Javed, trainee officer of the Information Group, dilated at length on the subject.
Dr Hidayat, in his address, emphasized the importance of economic freedom and provision of a level playing field, where every citizen had equal opportunities to undertake a business, set up an industry or make investment in the sphere of his or her choice with full facilitation from various departments concerned.
He stressed simplification of procedures for taking up a business as well as procedures for payment of tax.
Dr Hidayat presented a comparative analysis of World Economic Freedom Index and explained how economic freedom led to fiscal health and rule of law.
He added that economic freedom helped ensure increased prosperity for all and poverty alleviation. It reduced probability of conflicts and brought improvement in quality of life, he added.
Saddam Hussein highlighted the growth pattern of Pakistan’s economy during different phases of the history and also spoke in detail on the economic difficulties faced by the country.
He called for key policy interventions and emphasized that betterment of economy should take precedence over all other considerations.
He said civil service reforms, universal internet access, and slashing down the sludge – the unnecessary administrative cost – were key factors that could boost the economy, eventually.
He also emphasized a one-window operation for attracting investment and encouraging business activities.
Summing up his take on economy, he said deregulation, digitization and privatization were the key elements for realizing economic growth and development.
Saba Jawaid, in her presentation, explained the current economic situation in detail. She laid emphasis on promoting value addition of products for enhancing quality exports, thereby earning precious foreign exchange for the country and stabilizing the economy.
Later, the panelists responded to various queries from the participants during the question and answer session which was moderated by the trainee officer, Sania Safdar, who also earlier conducted the proceedings of the seminar.
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s Joint Secretary Arshad Muneer gave away souvenirs to the speakers.
In his brief remarks, he appreciated the efforts of ISA in holding the seminar as part of the Independence Day events, and on behalf of the Ministry of Information, assured of all-out support for future academic activities.
The ISA Director General thanked the speakers for enlightening the participants on various facets of the economy.