Nuaman Ishfaq Mughal,
Islamabad: The participants of the round-table session on “Economic Resilience and National Character: Harnessing the Human Capital/Skilled Diaspora” argued that despite all the challenges, the economy of Pakistan had proved resilient. They stated that the primary factor that supported the economy of Pakistan was the foreign remittances by overseas Pakistanis which filled up the gap between balances of payment to a significant extent. The round-table session was organised by Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS), Islamabad
They participants discussed that the government must learn from the past without dwelling into the past. The further deliberated that Pakistan could only develop if its growth rate remained 7% consistently. They added that the current foreign debt rate of Pakistan was approximately 100 billion and the foreign reserves were not at satisfactory level as there had been a decrease of 8% in imports of oil and petroleum. The contributors of the round-table session suggested that there was a need to increase competitiveness and capacity as Pakistan was not taking advantage of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Plus status.
While talking about the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), participants stated that Pakistan might get out of the Grey List because of the action taken by government. About revenue generation, the participants recommended that the target of government should be about 5 billion for next year.
Furthermore, the participants discussed that Pakistan needed to work on what was required and which resources Pakistan had in its kitty. The speakers were of the opinion that government lacked in planning economy. They urged that there must be a joint monetary committee headed by the Prime minister with the representation of three major political parties of Pakistan. “The key lessons for future are management, personnel/ national character,” the speakers agreed. Also, the participants were of the view that the government had to identify high impact industry that could deliver in return.
Few of the important speakers of the session were Mr. Ihsan Ghani: Ex-Coordinator, NACTA, Mr. Abdur Rauf Chaudhry – Former Federal Tax Ombudsman, Mr. Zahid Latif, President, Islamabad Stock Exchange, Mr. Aamir Ghauri – Editor, The News, Mr. Ashfaq Ahmed Gondal – Former Federal Secretary of Information and Broadcasting, Mr. Shakeel Ahmed Ramay – Executive Director, Zalmi Foundation, Ambassador Amjad Majid Abbasi and Mr. Jawad Majid – Director Silk Bank.