ISLAMABAD - Former finance minister Shahid Javed Burki has said that crises of governance, rent seeking culture and corruption had been rising in the country and for revival of economic growth it was essential to restore confidence in the economy.

He was speaking in a seminar titled, “Pakistan; Moving the Economy Forward”, organised by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) here on Thursday. Former minister said that in past Pakistan always took the short term measures to respond to any crisis that hit the economy. Pakistan always depended on aid/assistance from abroad instead of devising long term strategy, he said.

He suggested that to build the confidence in economy the next government should have some strategic framework for sustainable economic growth. “Currently Pakistan’s economy is facing trust deficit as no one is ready to invest in Pakistan so first and foremost is the confidence building,” he highlighted.

He stressed the creation of a system of accountability, where we can give message to the people that those sitting on decision making positions will function in a way that their decisions will be based on merit. He said the other important step to achieve sustainable economic growth could be that Pakistan should give more space to private sector to work and establishment of a regulatory system is required to provide protection to citizens instead of rent seeking.

Pakistan should focus on regional integration, and increase trading with neighbouring countries like India and China which could add up to 2-4 percent in growth rate, whereas Pakistan’s destination for exports is United States, which needs a lot of expenditure on transit.

Talking about the long-term initiatives, he said Pakistan should adopt different types of strategic visions for new development paradigm. World economy and production system has been changed and Pakistan should adopt and create an environment to facilitate new development paradigm.

He also suggested few medium term steps such as Pakistan should focus on agriculture productivity as in this country it is very low despite having large aggregated area. “If we train human resource and provide them market it will prove to be an asset,” he said.

He added that economic growth rate should be triple in ratio as compared to population growth rate to make a real difference but in Pakistan growth rate is below which is leading to increase in informal economy.

While concluding the seminar, Dr Rashid Amjad, Vice Chancellor PIDE, said that now people lack trust in Pakistan’s economy and there is a common perception we are going to collapse, so bringing back the confidence in economy is essential to achieve the economic growth.