KARACHI: Education is linked with economic prosperity but the education sector in Sindh is underperforming despite the fact that Rs700 million of the province’s annual development budget has been allocated to the education sector, said Education Minister Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar.
“Pakistan’s economy is going to collapse like that of Greece’s in the next 10 years,” he warned. Dahar was addressing the inauguration ceremony of a conference, titled ‘International Conference on Transforming Economic Development: Policies and Strategies’, organised by the Applied Economics Research Centre (AERC) at the ICCBS, Karachi University on Tuesday. “Pakistan has been divided into haves and have-nots classes,” he said.
Like other flourishing countries, Pakistan has to manage according to its own environment to achieve the international Sustainable Development Goals, he said.
Pakistan is facing enormous challenges such as illiteracy, poverty, inequalities, corruption, energy and governance issues that have had a direct negative impact on the economic development and growth of the country, he pointed out.
“Pakistan is heading towards a social and economic hurricane that will cause great damage,” said AERC director Prof Dr Samina Khalil, adding that the economic hurricane will sweep away much of the current economy and Pakistan’s assumptions about the future.
The three-day conference aims to devise development policies and strategies for the transformation of the economy of Pakistan, explained Dr Khalil. It is providing a forum for discussion among renowned national and international academics, researchers, practitioners, policy makers and students, she said.
Seconding the education minister, economist Dr Kaiser Bengali said that Pakistan has been divided into two classes, the haves and have-nots. “The country’s exports are being reduced as compared to imports, which have increased,” he said, pointing out that the deficit created from this difference between exports and imports is mounting up debts.
Tension with India is extremely harmful for us, said Pakistan Institute of Development Economics vice-chancellor Dr Asad Zaman. “Pakistan needs to rethink and reconfigure trading patterns; self-sufficiency is the need of the hour,” said Zaman.
A total of 32 research papers will be presented in the conference.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd, 2016.