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PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) has unveiled a game-changing report named the “PIDE Reform Manifesto”.

Based on the research done by the Institute in the last four years, and the various conferences, seminars and consultative meetings, this manifesto is not just a document; it is a visionary roadmap poised to revolutionize both the economic landscape and societal fabric of Pakistan, according to a press release issued here on Monday.

Delving into the core imperative of implementing substantial reforms, the manifesto is a compelling call to action for a brighter future, shaping a narrative of progress and transformation in the heart of Islamabad.

PIDE’s commitment to driving positive change is vividly reflected in this pioneering initiative, offering a strategic guide for policymakers and stakeholders to navigate the complexities and usher in a new era of prosperity for Pakistan.

As the chief guest of the ceremony, Caretaker Federal Minister of Information, Murtaza Solangi, announced that the upcoming elections would take place on Thursday, February 8, 2024. Minister Solangi reassured the public that all assumptions and rumors surrounding the elections had been addressed, creating an environment of transparency and credibility in the electoral process.

Minister Solangi highlighted crucial issues such as the economy, foreign policy, education, and health. He stressed the importance of open discourse on fundamental issues and urged an increased collective consciousness among the people. Addressing challenges like population growth, he underscored the necessity of controlling the demographic surge.

Solangi called for democratic attitudes within political parties, asserting that fostering such values is pivotal for the country’s progress. With a hopeful tone, he expressed confidence that these collective efforts would lead to solutions for the real problems facing the nation.

In his opening remarks Dr. Nadeemul Haque, Vice Chancellor Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), said that the economic challenges facing Pakistan persist despite 24 IMF programs, leaving the nation on the brink of default and trapped in a cycle of current account and fiscal deficits. Excessive government regulation, particularly from a bureaucratic system inherited from colonial times, hampers the formal market, with the government’s interference estimated at 64% of the economy.

Additionally, a regulatory cost of up to 45% of GDP further restricts investment opportunities. The democratic system, rooted in colonial-era ideologies, contributes to unsustainable debt levels and a patronage-driven political landscape, confusing local and national priorities. Antiquated institutions, resistant to reform, repel talent and hinder adaptation to the modern global economic environment, leading to a continuous cycle of crises.

Dr. Durre Nayab, Pro Vice Chancellor PIDE, highlighted the critical challenges facing Pakistan, emphasizing that addressing the changing demography and managing the escalating debt burden requires sustained and elevated economic growth.

In a candid statement, Dr. Ahmed Waqar Qasim, Senior Research Economist PIDE, highlighted the significant challenges posed by Pakistan’s civil bureaucracy, operating within a system devised during colonial times. He highlighted the bureaucratic hurdles impeding growth, innovation, and development.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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