Pak govt is planning to revive investments in private sector

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan government plans to revive private sector investment in line with current environment of deregulation, liberlaisation and privatisation.

By From A Correspondent

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Published: Sun 12 Mar 2006, 10:48 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 3:33 PM

However, it regretted that despite a host of tax concessions and incentives provided to the private sector, it remains shy and fails to make investment in the domestic economy of the right quality and right quantity.

According to a new approach paper "Strategic Directions to Achieve Vision 2030" — a draft paper the copy of which was also obtained by this correspondent — Pakistan will have to overcome the binding constraints of limited financial, scientific, technical and human resources to manage the enhanced total GDP including to increase the per capita income from about $780 to $3000 in next 25 years.

On the other hand, the private sector is inhibited in its investment initiatives by diverse factors such as high prices of utilities, a plethora of administrative barriers to investment such as corruption, red tape and higher costs of inputs.

The vision seeks to increase the current total $104 billion GDP to $700 billion in next 25 years but concedes that the resource and other constraints could make the job difficult for the planners to achieve their broad objectives.

The approach paper enlists five major challenges which need to be adequately addressed to achieve Vision 2030 goals which include better education, availability of easy access to justice, availability of good affordable health care along with an effective regulatory regime for the provision of quality health care, improved governance and management of the institutions and the availability of necessary resources which cannot come without increasing tax-to-GDP ratio.

The paper, prepared by the Planning Commission, recognises the risks and limitations in attempting to define our way of life in the year 2030 and appreciates the nature, diversity and enormity of the challenges.

"The process requires consistent inputs from all stakeholders including various tiers of government, the civil society as well as a broad range of experts, so that the vision is truly national."

The paper also urges the government to forge broad national consensus, involvement and a sense of ownership which is essential to make the foresight exercise widely acceptable, so that it stands the test of time and change of governments, and the desired inputs on policies and strategies for socio economic development can be realised.

Minimising wastage was also termed as a challenge which will be an important tool for enhancing efficiency and preserving inter-generational equity while exploiting current resources.

Talking about the institutions of state and government, the approach paper says that as the scale of economic activity expands, better institutions will become absolutely necessary.

"It is now well-recognised that governments are inefficient and opaque not because they do not know any better or it is expensive to achieve this, but because vested interest or creators and power centres want them to be so."

"At the national level, a critical consensus has developed that no reforms or re-structuring can be successful, and no vision will be achieved, unless a major change is brought about in the competence and quality of public servants."

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