KARACHI - Director Institute of Business Administration and former governor of State Bank of Pakistan, Dr Ishrat Husain has said that if the government focused on the proper implementation of its plans and policies the country’s economic progress could be achieved.

The proper execution of plans is 80 per cent in the hands of people while 20 per cent is associated with the government, he said.

“Only one million people are paying taxes in this country. Billions of rupees are being drained in the gas sector due to the mismanagement,” he said while delivering a lecture at Prof Salimuzzaman Siddiqui Auditorium, International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi (UoK), organsied by Alumni Club ICCBS on Monday.

Prof Dr Atta-ur-Rahman, former federal minister of science & technology and former chairman Higher Education Commission, Prof. Dr Zafar Saeed Saifi, former vice chancellor UoK, and other distinguished teachers and students of the university were also present on the occasion.

Dr Husain said that in the 21st century the knowledge became the main driving force of societal and economic development, adding that the country required a knowledge-based economy.

Quoting an example of Japan, he said although Japan has not natural resources, it made remarkable progress in every sector of life.

“Before 1960s, Pakistan’s exports were higher than the combined exports of Indonesia and Malaysia. Transformation of economy takes place in 25 to 30 years. Now we need to transform our country’s existing economy to knowledge based one,”he said. He said, “Untaxed economy is flourishing in the country, which ultimately makes the government deprived. As compared to the government private sector is wealthy in the country.”

He further said the present government’s priority is only infrastructure. Power and gas demands are increasing in the country but we are not taking any concrete step to address the issue of the energy shortage,” he added.

In the end, Prof Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman praised the services of the veteran economist and educationist, and said that his lecture was a real food for thoughts for our students and researchers.