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Saturday June 22, 2024

‘Notable decline in gardens, public spaces in city’

By Rasheed Khalid
May 27, 2024
Participants speaks during a panel at three-day EconFest 2024 at Gandhara Citizen Club organised by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) on May 26, 2024. — Facebook/Pakistan Institute of Development Economics-PIDE
Participants speaks during a panel at three-day EconFest 2024 at Gandhara Citizen Club organised by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) on May 26, 2024. — Facebook/Pakistan Institute of Development Economics-PIDE

Islamabad: The panel at 3-day EconFest 2024 has concluded that the original vision for Islamabad as a "Garden City" faded with a notable decline in gardens and public spaces.

The EconFest was jointly organised here at Gandhara Citizen Club by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), Research for Social Transformation and Advancement (RASTA) and the Pakistan Society of Development Economists (PSDE). The speakers stressed that urban regeneration is crucial for all Pakistani cities and must adhere to proper rules and regulations, which should be publicised. The panel also emphasised that political will is essential for successful urban regeneration, as politicians play a key role in city development. Additionally, they pointed out that unlike many foreign cities, Pakistani cities lack efficient public transport systems which are vital for urban regeneration.

In another session, experts stressed the urgent need for deregulation to foster economic growth. They discussed the future of Pakistan's bureaucracy, focusing on making it more efficient and affordable. The session on "Revisiting government jobs" focused on the cost of living for government servants and the justification for new employee expenses.

The PIDE chief Moin ul Haque highlighted the repeated failures of civil service reforms in Pakistan, emphasising that successful reforms should identify weaknesses and promote good governance. He contrasted Pakistan's system with merit-based civil services in foreign countries, which ensure competence and accountability.

Nargis Sethi stressed the need to re-evaluate government jobs, suggesting that technological advancements should lead to fewer government positions. She pointed out that the public sector struggles with accountability as the population grows, making it crucial to promote the private sector and discourage over-reliance on government jobs. During a session, the experts discussed the challenges of media and image building, specifically focusing on the limited coverage of business reports.