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November 23, 2016

‘If inequality persists, Pakistan’s economy may fall like Greece’s within a decade’

Karachi

 
November 23, 2016

Pakistan’s economy could face a Greece-like collapse within the next 10 years if the ever-widening divide between the haves and have-nots is allowed to further deepen, warned economists on Tuesday.

The experts were addressing the inaugural session of a three-day international conference on ‘Transforming economic development: policies and strategies’ organised by the Applied Economics Research Centre (AERC), University of Karachi (KU).

Economic prosperity was directly linked to education but the provincial education sector in Sindh was underperforming despite a Rs700 million annual development budget, observed the speakers.

Experts hoped the conference would help in devising effective economic policies and strategies to strengthen economies of developing countries including of Pakistan’s.

Among the distinguished economists who spoke at the event, advisor to chief minister Sindh Dr Qaiser Bengali observed that the country’s exports were reducing while imports were increasing. The deficit created from this difference between exports and imports was being financed through debts. Dr Bengali explained.   

Pakistan Institute of Development Economics Vice Chancellor Dr Asad Zaman said unstable relations with India were extremely harmful for Pakistan. He urged policymakers to rethink and reconfigure trade patterns with India.

He called for making Pakistan’s economy self-sufficient, adding, that at the heart of all successful stories of development were efficient and visionary governments.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, provincial minister for education, Jam Mehtab Dahar, stated that was the job of other developing states, Pakistan also had to manage its economy in accordance with its circumstances to achieve targeted development goals.

“Pakistan can learn from experiences of other countries, establish links with them to work together for sustainable development.”

He pointed out that Pakistan was facing enormous challenges such as illiteracy, poverty, inequality, corruption, energy crises, governance challenges among several others which had had a direct negative impact on economic development and growth of the country. Later, AERC Director Prof Dr Samina Khalil maintained that the conference aimed at devising development policies and strategies for transformation
of developing countries’ economies in general, and economy of Pakistan in particular.

She claimed that it would provide an ideal forum of discussion to national and international renowned academicians, researchers, practitioners, policymakers and students. The event would also serve as a unique platform for serious dialogue and exchange of ideas.

Prof Samina said Pakistan was heading towards a social and economic downfall which could sweep away our current economy and our assumptions about the future, cause a crisis that would impact the whole world.