SDPI, Economic Think-Tanks network reaffirm support for economic reforms to upcoming govt

ISLAMABAD, Sep 23 (APP): Joint Executive Director, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Dr Vaqar Ahmed on Saturday reaffirmed SDPI and National Network of Economic Think-Tanks’s support for economic reforms agenda to the upcoming governments, public and private sector.
He was speaking at a policy dialogue titled “Building a Resilient Pakistan Economy: A Call to Action”, organized under the National Network of Economic Think-Tanks by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute here, a news release said.
Dr Ahmed reiterated SDPI’s emphasis on collaboration through the network to put forth policy recommendations that can help the new governments guide economic policies to keep IMF program on track in view of the reform objectives and develop a medium-term development agenda.
He further remarked, “Rampant inflation has demonstrated negative social and economic impacts and called for innovative solutions to reduce the burden on the poorest of the poor, in the domain of social protection policies, leveraging regional agricultural trade to counter regional food inflation.”
He remarked that Ministry of Finance, State Bank and other regulators need help with effective strategies with investors to leverage opportunities like competitive prices that the SMEs, freelancers and exports can offer currently due to the rupee depreciation.
Assistant Professor, IBA, Adil Nakhoda underscored the need to address cross-border smuggling, monetary policy changes to develop resilience against dollar, energy sector viability and management of circular debt to make adjustments in agreement to the IMF deal. He highlighted  that despite the textile sector contributing a significant export volume, the products are low value.
CEO, the Pakistan Association of Large Steel Producers, Wajid Iqbal remarked that improving the structure of regulatory bodies and building their human development capacity to match global standards is vital to creating the enabling environment being stressed.
He further highlighted the unequal preferences and subsidies given to some economic sectors and urged they must be addressed to provide equal opportunity to all.
CEO, TiE Islamabad, Sumera Abbassi emphasized the active role of venture capture funds in mobilizing finances for SMEs. She remarked that there is need for investor education programs to create awareness among investors about the actual investment potential in Pakistan and urged for measures to encourage high-net private companies and investors to increase investment flow.
Head Centre for Private Sector Engagement, SDPI, Ahad Nazir expressed that the economic system has demonstrated different outcomes to similar shocks due to structural inefficiencies and lack of institutional memory. He called for rectifying issues like the non-productive use of resources as seen in the case of women’s labor.
Professor of Economics, BUITEMS, Balochistan, Dr Abdul Salam Lodhi stressed restructuring economic policy to boost industrial development and sustainable, self-sufficient agriculture. He highlighted that an enabling environment for industries and exports is lacking due to chronic mismanagement and poor governance.
GCU Lahore, Professor Dr Saima highlighted that 85% of the informal economy is associated with women’s labor and their lack of resilience to economic and political externalities. “Cultural poverty is limiting the individual agency of women despite them being the largest segment of Pakistan’s economy”, she added. Government should increase financial access, enhancing capacity and awareness of the business ecosystem and address the systematic cultural barriers, she stressed.
CEO, Ain Consulting Ltd., Qurat-ul-Ain pointed out that regulatory policy inconsistencies and complexities and political uncertainty are affecting the business environment, thus discouraging investment in the country. Delay in payments is also contributing to distrust. She further said that simplifying the regulatory frameworks can support start-ups to boom and urged for reducing excessive state control on export markets.
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