The economics department of Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) arranged a seminar titled “State of Macro Economy in Pakistan” at the varsity premises on Wednesday.

The guest speaker of the event was Dr Waqar Ahmad, deputy executive director of Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). FJWU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Samina Amin Qadir chaired the seminar.

Dr Ahmad started with explaining the historical trends in Pakistan’s macro economy. He said that Pakistan’s macro economy has shown no sign of improvement for years. The linear trend of gross domestic product (GDP) has been found to be negative. In Pakistan inflation has been higher and investment has been less than the rest of South Asian countries during the same period. According to his opinion, this was due to lack of learning in terms of policymaking. This was indicated by fact that the development expenditures have been considerably lower than the current expenditures.

However, the current state of economy was stable owing to the new International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme. The current wave of privatisation and the 3G and 4G auction have also relieved some pressure from the fiscal side. However, unless some major policy reforms take place, all these factors may result in counterproductive outcomes. He added that the biggest challenge that was being faced by Pakistan today was the energy crisis and this might be dealt with through exploration of new resources and improvement in the existing infrastructure. Dr Ahmad was also of the view that in order to pay off the existing debt and avoid accumulating further debt, the government will have to undertake tax reforms to eliminate the system of discretionary tax exemptions.

The seminar was concluded with a very detailed and rigorous question and answer session. Later Dr Bushra Yasmin, chairperson economics department, thanked the guest speaker and presented the university souvenir to him.