“The Institute for Policy Reforms (IPR) will be an independent and non-partisan think tank. It will not accept funds from any other organisation – national or international,” IPR chairman Humayun Akhtar said on Thursday.
Speaking at the launching ceremony of the think tank, Akhtar said the government should look to increase the country’s foreign exchange reserves.
He said the IPR was formed under Section 42 of the Companies Ordinance. “Active and credible people from the country’s corporate sector will run the institute,” he said.
Former federal minister Hafeez Pasha presented on the occasion an analysis of the government’s economic performance from July 2013 to December 2013.
He praised the government for its economic policies as well as its policies on anti-terrorism and energy. “Unfortunately the economy did not benefit from these policies,” he added.
Pasha said the government had been successfully maintaining its annual monetary loss as a fraction of the gross domestic product (GDP) at 2.2 per cent, in accordance with its agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“Achieving the tax targets proposed in the budget will be difficult… 5 per cent economic growth is recorded in the current financial year… it will go down to 4 per cent by the end of this financial year,” he said.
Pasha said Pakistan would get a $550 million instalment if it met the terms set by the IMF.
“The government is trying its best to get the instalment… The government should increase the reserves. A failure in this will adversely affect the economic development,” he said.
At the first meeting of the think tank on Thursday, Humayun Akhtar was elected chairman, Hafeez Pasha as director and Ashraf Hayat as executive director. Former minister Haroon Akhtar Khan and economist Khalida Ghous were nominated directors.
Dr Ataur Rehman, Abdullah Hussain Haroon, Lt General (r) Sikandar Afzal, Salman Akram Raja, Abdullah Yousaf, Shakeel Durrani, Munawwar Bashir, Tasneem Noorani, Iqrar Ahmad Khan, Mansoor Ahmad, Moeed Yousaf, Tariq Pervez and Abid Sulehri were elected advisers.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 9th, 2014.