36th AGM and conference
of PSDE concluded

F.P. Report

QUETTA: The 36th AGM & Conference of the Pakistan Society of Development Economists (PSDE) was concluded here on Thursday. The Conference is being held in Quetta, Balochistan. The Conference was organized by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) in collaboration with BUITEMS, Quetta.

The theme of the Conference was “Charter of Economy: Investment, Productivity, and Employability.” The collaborators and sponsors of the Conference included the World Bank Group, CPEC Center of Excellence, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, IFAD, National Poverty Graduation Programme, Engro, PPAF, the Bank of Punjab, PMIC, ILO, Nafees Poly Pack, Saudi-Pak Industrial and Agriultural Investment Company, and the University of Balochistan.

The final day of the PSDE’S 36th AGM & Conference kicked off with a discussion on the PIDE Charter of Economy.

The charter is a live document prepared by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, which presents a blueprint of some solutions for Pakistan’s ailing economy.

The discussion focused on the delineation of economy and politics, civil service reforms, taxation, governance, and devolution. Panellists included Dr Nadeem ul Haque (Vice-Chancellor PIDE), and Mr Shahid Kardar (Vice-Chancellor BNU). The charter was presented by Saddam Hussain and Shaaf Najeeb, who are researchers at PIDE.

The PIDE Charter of the Economy is open for suggestions and inputs.

In the opening remarks, Dr Nadeem contextualized the problem. He said that we have been working on the economy, but nothing has worked out for 70 years.
Therefore, PIDE has come up with a charter of economy, which is up for debate and aims to guide policy efforts. He stressed the need to delink politics and economics, which are, according to him, separate domains.

However, he acknowledged that a political consensus is needed if the charter of the economy is to be implemented.

He said that whether or not the charter is debated and implemented, we have tried to offer our advice in the capacity of a public research think tank.

The charter talks about, among other things, the kind of parliamentary and local governance structure we should have.

Moreover, it also poses the question of whether there should be a limit on the term of a member of parliament and the structure of senate elections. According to the charter, senate elections should be direct in which the people can elect their senators through a direct voting mechanism.

The charter also discusses a new structure of autonomous government agencies run by technocrats and experts rather than bureaucrats. On the third day of the conference, three technical sessions were also part of the conference programme.