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Monday on October 31, 2022, Chandrasakeran, the Chairman of Tata Sons of India, announced the following:

“It is truly a historic day. Today we mark the beginning of full-scale aircraft manufacturing in India by the private sector. The aircraft that we will manufacture will be done by the Tata Advanced System, a Tata Group company and will make 40 such aircrafts out of the total order of 56 here in Gujarat. The aircraft manufacturing program will see Airbus bring its complete bouquet of aircraft manufacturing and servicing to India in collaboration with Tata Group. In all, it will produce at least 15,000 skilled jobs. There is also a very substantial global demand, and I definitely see exports being another big opportunity….”

As a part of the community of people from SAARC and subcontinent we must congratulate the Indian private sector for this remarkable achievement.

During the days of Covid pandemic we also realised that the biggest vaccine manufacturing facility in the world is located in Pune, India, and this facility, too, is also owned by the private sector. We all know aircraft manufacturing is the major value-added technological industry in the world.

We were part of the society and economics of the subcontinent for centuries till 1947. Up-till 1947 the areas that now form Pakistan were relatively richer and prosperous than other parts of India and we had good educational institutions as well.

Nobel Laureate, Dr Abdul Salam in his short biography ‘the Cosmic Anger’ has written that the laboratory of the Physics Department of Government College was almost comparable to that of University of Cambridge.

Now there is no comparison between present and future economic projections for India and Pakistan. We have to seriously think about where we lost the race. We used to make fun of Nehruvian rate of economic growth of less than three percent, after being doled out USAid under the Baghdad Pact while ignoring the fact that they were investing in IIT and IIMs and three of their consecutive education Ministers after partition were Muslims, starting with legendary Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.

This writer has seen the economics and business of Pakistan from all dimensions. As a senior partner at the largest accounting practice in Pakistan, as president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan, as Regulatory Director of the Karachi Stock Exchange, as Chairman Federal Board of Revenue of Pakistan and as Independent Director of major listed companies.

On the basis of this multi-dimensional experience my conclusion is that there is some defect in present Muslim DNA. We have a false superiority complex of some ‘system’ which will be there if we all become good Muslims. All the energies expended on making good Muslims.

Firstly, we have to turn ourselves into good Muslims only then will we be able to create good institutions. Taliban tried to adopt a shorter route, albeit (unsuccessfully), with which the majority of us disagree. Famous scholar Dawood Rahbar has given very correct statement in this regard. He said ‘man needs a good society not a good religion’.

The important aspect of the announcement of the Tata Group Chairman is that this activity will be carried out in the private sector. We Pakistanis have some misapprehensions about the public and private sectors in India. India under Nehru’s pursued socialist policies like Pakistan under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto nationalised banks. Unlike the general perception we are one step ahead in privatisation of the banking sector where in Pakistan all, except major banks, are in the private sector.

In India, the majority of the banks are still in the public sector, and industry is thriving. The difference between Nehru’s nationalisation and Bhutto’s action was that in the former case it was a part of a decided policy and was limited to banks, life insurance and a very few limited number of industries.

In Pakistan, however, we ended up nationalising ghee and rice mills. In India, there was never a sense of vindictiveness in the process as Nehru and Gandhi were socially very close to big industrial groups like Tatas and Birlas.

In Pakistan, there was a sense of vindictiveness as the industries which were being nationalised were owned by those who did not necessarily represent the feudal class. In India, however, none of the major industrial groups left the country after the nationalization; whereas in Pakistan, almost every one left.

There were intellectual shifts also. Dr Mahbubul Haque wrote that about 22 families championed the private sector only in the latter part of his life. Other instances can also be cited for the differences; however, the present need is to look for the way forward for Pakistan.

In this writer’s view, the answer to this question is very simple. The first step is to reduce the political temperature. There is no black and white in real world; as it’s only grey. The next step is to realise and acknowledge that Pakistan has been left behind in the race and we will have to work harder to catch up.

The third step is to design the plan of economic development of Pakistan for the next 50 years divided into five-year plans. If the projections cannot be made for the next fifty years then there is a definite need to reconsider other political options.

This job of planning for next fifty years be given to a constitutionally formed ‘National Planning Board’ under the Chairman of a noted economist involving all provinces, economic sectors and interests. Time allowed to the Commission must not exceed six months from the date of appointment. No member is to be a government servant or a member of any political party.

The last immediate action is to open up share of economic data within the SAARC region so that our people who have a common culture, history and background can learn from each other. We have to compete with India in economics, not in cricket matches alone. I am sure that people of Pakistan have the capability to catch up in the race if they realise that others are running faster than them.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


Comments are closed.

Asif Haroon Nov 03, 2022 12:38pm
Sir, a very informative and an eye opener, we need to be good muslims first and foremost because this country was made in the name of Allah
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M. Hassan Nov 03, 2022 03:45pm
The writer has indirectly seconded what Netanyahu said: "Muslims have master faith syndrome just as Nazis had master race syndrome." In my view things would have been better if nation tried to make more scientists than chartered accountants.
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Ahmed Vine Nov 03, 2022 06:23pm
An ordinary citizen can only hope that the politicians will read this write following what has been advised would a distant dream
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Concerned Nov 04, 2022 10:44am
@Asif Haroon, did you even read the article? Sadly this thought process is the problem.
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Concerned Nov 04, 2022 10:50am
@M. Hassan, well, he wasn’t incorrect, as a Pakistani living in the country it’s not hard to see the beard being used as a veil for evil, it’s no secret that Pakistani Muslims have some “superiority complex” when they can’t even decide which mosque and which versions of Islam are correct, there is no need for a mosque in every corner when they can’t even develop a consensus towards timing Azan. Sadly us people amistani muslims live in a bubble where most refuse to see the real truth and accept facts. Praying 5 times a day and going for hajj and umrah every year might make you a good “Muslim” but it certainly does not make you a decent human being just by doing those. Some self reflection is truly the need of the hour.
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M. Hassan Nov 04, 2022 02:35pm
@Concerned , Dear you are writing this with a concealed identity. In the land of Pures, you are not allowed to have your own thoughts.
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Concerned Nov 04, 2022 04:08pm
@M. Hassan, well yeah, Pakistan isn’t some champion of freedom of speech or thought rather the exact opposite, and the country does produce some fine scientists, accountants and people belonging to every profession but they leave the country when the opportunity arises, and why shouldn’t they? When we’re still stuck mentally in primitive times.
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HashBrown® Nov 04, 2022 04:36pm
@M. Hassan, 'The writer has indirectly seconded what Netanyahu said: "Muslims have master faith syndrome just as Nazis had master race syndrome."' The irony of course is that the man being quoted was himself responsible for some of the most brutal violations carried out against Palestinian villagers in the name of orthodox Judaism - not to mention a notorious liar. I agree with the article in principle, but Zaidi neglects to mention that Pakistan's industrial and economic output exceeded Hindustan's in the years after partition - and it's no coincidence that this was also before religion was ruthlessly exploited as a means of forcing a national identity upon us. The problem was never the DNA of the average Pakistani, it was the DNA of the same people with whom Zaidi shared the corridors of power.
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Adil Nov 04, 2022 07:49pm
Sir I moved to USA about 50 years ago. To me the main problem of Pakistan is corruption and internal terrorism and some religious ignorance and people trying to make quick profit. Multi National companies are reluctant to invest in Pakistan until you get rid of these three things.
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Wasif Sadi Nov 05, 2022 08:47am
The three prongs action plan suggested in this article is definitely is the call of time, we must come out of the fools paradise. Muslims are only good when they are practicing islam, following the rituals only will not make good muslims. However, the suggested plan can oly work when we have honest and competent Economists, Planners, & buerocracy. Unfortunately we have a serious vacuum in this area. "her shaakh pay uloo baitha hai anjam-e-gulistan kia hoga. Some kind of inqilab can only pave the path.
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Rebirth Nov 05, 2022 02:07pm
Pakistanis are already manufacturing parts for Boeing. We also manufacture, not assemble, the civilian and commercially available version of Mushak. We can work with civilian aircraft companies to assemble or even manufacture entire planes. We have an ever-growing aviation industry with new airlines propping up every few years and the PIA’s improving finances. We also happened to protect its properties threatened by the Reko Diq case that can no longer be “prosecuted” in any international arbitration court after the company that brought those cases, Tethyan has ceased to exist. Our government has also become a partner of a banditry organization by buying the Chilean company’s stake. If we had a local, private or soon-to-be privatized mining corporation that took on our government’s share, like the mining corporation in Baluchistan, we would be better off and be less exposed to litigation. Although, such a risk has already been mitigated, which is why they want domestic legislation.
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Shahid Hussain Asad Nov 07, 2022 01:46pm
Excellent analysis and Very good proposal .But in this heated political turmoil through which the country is passing through, will anybody listen?
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Hassan azad Nov 07, 2022 06:44pm The article by zaheer Anwar is very relevant to this . It shows clearly what went wrong.
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Hassan azad Nov 07, 2022 06:49pm This is a book written by someone in the family of the founder of BECO. Nationalisation of top rate companies was done by bhutto . Also, political appointees to PIA, the Steel Mill in karachi and in several universities has reduced us to beggars.
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Hassan azad Nov 07, 2022 06:52pm
@M. Hassan, both are needed. The main game changer for us is Bhutto's nationalisation of thriving and cutting edge industries like BECO and their systematic destruction by political appointees.
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Karim Aziz Nov 07, 2022 11:29pm
The writer is truly a honest economist and accountant of high calibre. He has vision to serve Pakistan. His idea to form an Economic Planning Board not involving bureaucrats or politician from any religion is a true step in the right direction.
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Muhammad Nov 09, 2022 07:18pm
@HashBrown®, Since you are using Mr. Zaidi's last name to mention him, you have to add Mr. with his last name. Secondly, look at the problem itself not who said it.
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