Economic experts urged the government to reorient its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) with pro-poor growth and governance reforms, said a press release issued by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in Islamabad on Wednesday.
Dr Kaiser Bengali, former adviser planning and development to chief minster Sindh, criticised the import-dominated and services-dependent economy of the country and proposed resurrection of the welfare state and a manufacturing-based economy.
He also proposed a shift from road to rail transportation to help to reduce reliance on diesel. He recommended linking Gawadar with Kandhar and the diversion of Afghan Transit Trade to this port to boost the economy.
Dr Vaqar Ahmed, a researcher at SDPI, said 85% of development projects are politically motivated and 38% of PSDP does not reach the poor.
“The country’s average growth rate is well below that of South Asian countries and even behind Sub-Saharan states growth rates due to misgovernance.” He also underscored the need for strong monitoring mechanisms for projects.
SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Suleri said that PSDP allocation in the country over the years was misdirected and wrongly prioritised. He said there are no allocation for National Zero Hunger Action Plan recently inaugurated by Prime Minster to fight hunger and malnourishment in the country.
He underlined the need for balancing the energy mix and switching from oil to renewable energy considering the country produces around 39% of its electricity from oil whereas India produces only 1%.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 25th, 2012.