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April 5, 2018

Govt constitutes committee to evaluate trade policy’s proposals


April 5, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Government constituted a trade policy advisory committee to formulate a new five-year strategic trade policy framework to evaluate the private sector’s proposals, it was learnt on Wednesday.

A government notification, available with The News, said commerce division constituted the trade policy advisory committee comprising representatives from public and private sectors. The objective of the committee is to jointly evaluate the proposals of the industry for their transposition into the document of Strategic Trade Policy Framework for 2018-2023.

Hafiz Pasha, ex-finance minister, regretted to become part of the committee, officials said.

“Yes, I have conveyed my regret today because of health problems,” Pasha told The News. “The trade has become important aspect of our economy and I am ready to give any advice on telephone but I cannot travel on frequent basis.”

The commerce division, as a part of consultative process, would organise meetings of advisory committee to evaluate the proposals received from different stakeholders and deliberate on the strategic trade policy framework.

The committee will be comprised of secretaries of commerce, finance and textile divisions, ministries of industries and production, national food security and research and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan and renowned officials from private sector.

The committee’s terms of reference is to recognise the importance of public and private sector collaboration for trade policy formulation and implementation with the understanding that the private sector is involved in trade across the border and better placed to inform the policy makers about the issues requiring government interventions through trade policy for their resolution.

Active involvement of stakeholders in policy design and implementation will augment ownership of the policies by stakeholders and will positively contribute to the achievement of declared targets.

The notification said the committee will be mandated to perform functions, including identifying relevant policy issues that should be addressed through public private dialogues, identify the topics and participants for the dialogues, recognise the trade policy issues on which research should be undertaken and that can further international trade and competitiveness, recommend research organisations/consultants to undertake research studies.

“Each meeting of the TPAC (trade policy advisory committee) shall have a structured agenda to guide the deliberations and proceedings of the meeting,” the notification added. “It will provide all requisite analytical, logistic and secretarial services to assist the functioning of the TPAC.”

Decisions of the TPAC shall be made by consensus. In case of disagreement, decisions would be taken by 2/3 majority of the members present at the meeting, the notification added.

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