LAHORE: The government’s inability to handle economic issues and creation of hurdles in the way of economic regulators have caused a price hike in the country. Besides, the government’s lack of interest in resolving economic issues has hampered the country’s progress on the economic growth path.
These observations were made by former chairman of Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP), Khalid Mirza while addressing the members of Lahore Economic Journalists Association (LEJA) here on Wednesday. He was delivering a lecture on the “Role of Regulators in Corporate Governance”.
Mirza explained that regulators have failed to make a tangible difference to the economy as the government has completely overlooked their prescribed role. He was of the view that there is no clarity in the government’s economic vision.
“Inflation is touching alarming levels and the government’s deficit is at an all time high and yet nobody is willing to pay heed to these core economic issues,” he said. “It seems the government wants to weaken the system and regulations,” he added.
Mirza further said the State Bank of Pakistan had a weak monetary policy. “The State Bank has been printing new currency notes to finance government’s deficit, which is not the way to deal with deficits,” he said.
Regulators should be autonomous and independent to play their role effectively, but it seems quite impossible in the present situation,” he said. He expressed that in many regulatory bodies; the regulators were weak or did not have the required qualification and technical knowledge, which was a matter of great concern.
He underlined that there was a dire need to provide complete autonomy to three regulators, namely Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) for economic revival in the country.
Mirza further said private sector is the engine of growth in any economy, but no serious effort was being made in Pakistan to provide level playing field to all players.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 10th, 2011.