Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) in collaboration with UNDP Pakistan organized a “Parliamentary Roundtable on Pakistan Economy and Public Sector Development Programs (PSDPs)” for Honourable Parliamentarians and parliamentary researchers on Wednesday, 19th February, 2020 at PIPS Campus Islamabad. The roundtable was attended by 32 participants including 5 MPs and 15 parliamentary researchers from Senate, National Assembly and PIPS.
Mr Muhammad Anwer, Executive Director PIPS, presented the welcome remarks and informed that PIPS has been successfully holding budget orientations for MPs since 2012 and has published two books on the theme. He expressed his gratitude to all participants and especially PIPS longstanding partner UNDP for taking up such an important topic for discussion and engaging Parliamentarians on it. He also expressed his hope that such initiatives will continue in the future.
Mr. Darren Nance, Chief Technical Advisor on Elections and Parliament at UNDP in his Opening Remarks expressed his enthusiasm and affirmed UNDP’s support for PIPS’ knowledge and capacity building initiatives on behalf of the Parliament of Pakistan. The opening session was followed by Keynote Sessions. During the Keynote Session, topics relating to economy and development were discussed. The first session on ‘Pakistan’s Economic Policy Today- an Appraisal’ was facilitated by Dr. Mehmood Khalid, Research Economist at Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) In his presentation, he discussed Macro and Micro economics under which he covered topics like GDP, inflation, unemployment, budget and trade deficit, poverty and SDGs framework. He also threw light on fiscal and monetary policy.
In the second presentation, Dr. Wasim Shahid Malik, SBP Chair on Economics at Peshawar University deliberated on topic ‘Priorities for Sustainable Economic Growth’. Dr. Malik in his talk discussed three ingredients for sustainable development i.e. Capital, Human Resource and Technology. He explained how growth in these sectors will help in sustainable growth of the economy.
The third session of the roundtable was conducted by Mr. Zafar ul Hasan on ‘Financing Sustainable Development Goals’. Mr. Zafar shed light on five key areas of Sustainable Development that the government of Pakistan is currently focusing on i.e. Education, Health, Electricity, Infrastructure and, Water Sanitation. He explained to the participants how development in these key areas will pass on to the other goals.
In the fourth session of the Roundtable, Mr. Nohman Ishtiaq talked on ‘Developing, Reviewing and Analysing PSDPs’. He discussed the role of Planning Commission of Pakistan in PSDPs projects and significance of different phases of PSDPs. He also discussed a set of suggestions for improving PSDPs planning and execution to enhanced sustainable economic growth.
In the last session of the roundtable, the floor was opened to the participants for questions. During the Q&A session, the participants put forth their questions and comments to the facilitators. Mr. Haider Abbas, Director General Finance, PIPS gave vote of thanks where he thanked the facilitators and participants. The event was moderated by Muhammad Rizwan Manzoor, Research Officer, PIPS. The event organizing team was consisted of young parliamentary officers, Ms. Laraib Kiyani and Ms. Adeela Shehzadi under the able leadership of Director Research, Ms. Tehseen Khalid and UNDP focal person Mr Karim Gabol. The MPs appreciated the PIPS and UNDP initiatives in apprising them on imperative themes of economy and development budget at the appropriate time.