Islamabad:Romina Khurshid Alam, Special Assistants to the Prime Minister (SAPM) and Convener Parliamentary Task force on SDGs, has said that developed countries which are major contributors of global carbon emissions must be called out and held responsible for their actions that developing countries are paying for.
Romina was speaking at a roundtable discussion on ‘Inclusive economic growth: an imperative for sustainable economic development’ organised here Monday. The SAPM said that climate finance was not aid rather legitimate right of climate vulnerable countries and responsibility of high carbon emitting countries.
She urged for strengthening implementation of laws along with behavioural changes to reinstate respect for law, social responsibility and social norms to ensure that development is inclusive and reaches under-developed and underprivileged communities. She stressed that bureaucratic operations must be simplified through one window operations so that the development agendas are delivered timely and efficiently.
Dr Aasim Sajjad said that economic development is impossible without re-centring resources and redistribution policies. He observed that ignoring natural watershed management in infrastructure development is a leading cause of flooding and developments in the name of tourism cause environmental degradation, loss of habitats and biodiversity but most importantly catalyse melting of glaciers in Northern areas.
Dr Vaqar Ahmed, joint executive director, SDPI called for achieving sustainable economic development to overcome contemporary challenges. He said there is a dire need that the government opts for solution-oriented approach, forward-looking planning and looking at the current floods as an opportunity to reset social protection backed by well thought out targeted economic policies rather than burdening future generation with loans. Frequent changes in tax, tariffs and reversals of economic policies have long term negative implications and discourage foreign direct investments. He said Pakistan needs to diversify foreign investments from multiple countries.
Dr Shafqat Munir Ahmad from SDPI said that economic inclusion of vulnerable and marginalised segments is critical to ensure that growth does not exacerbate existing inequalities in society. It is imperative for economists and policy makers to identify the issues of socio-economic inclusivity and rectify them to ensure sustainable economic development that benefits and empowers all strata of society.
Dr Sajid Amin also from SDPI said that Pakistan is currently confronting major challenges preventing it from achieving sustainable and inclusive economic development. Ali Salman, Executive Director, PRIME Institute said that Pakistan’s-economic policies have been fairly inclusive bearing in mind the fiscal constraints. Despite different models, no government ever shied away from development agenda, he said.
Moazzam Bhatti from SDPI said that lack of quality data and access to think tanks, economists and policy makers distorts analysis and leads to inefficient economic policies. He called for improving comprehensive coordination between Federal and province governments and ensuring continuity of economic policies.
Dr Neelum Nigar from Institute of Strategic Studies said that women are at the centre of economic crisis and climate disasters. Despite being almost half of population, there is low representation of women at high-ranking positions of power which reflects in policies that are devised without envisioning through gender lens.
Ermeena Malik from World Bank, Dr Abdul Jabbar from IIU, Muhammad Faisal Khokhar from BOI, Ayesha Ilyas from SDPI and Khurram Elahi, Iftikhar Ahmed, Dr Saud Ahmed Khan and Dr Abdul Jalil from PIDE also spoke on the occasion.