KARACHI  - Good governance has a positive impact on growth. There is a strong relationship between measures of governance and measures of competitiveness.  

These views were stated by Enrique Blanco Armas, lead economist of World Bank at the third day of the 3 days International Conference entitled “Towards Inclusive Governance and Efficient Institutions for Sustainable Development (TIGEISD)” organised by Applied Economics Research Centre (AERC), KU at HEJ Auditorium on Friday. 

UNDP Resident Representative in Pakistan Neil Buhne said that in KPK, law and prosecution system is significantly improving. Improving police system is tangible and not very difficult but it needs determination. There are some good laws but still the justice system of the country is weak, legal aid is missing. Pakistan has granted provincial autonomy to its provinces but the local body system is quite weak. Sustainable development is not possible without good governance. Lack of transparency and accountability leads to corruption, Neil added. 

Annus Azhar, Syed Hassan and Mumtaz Anwar while presenting their research paper said that water demand due to population surge is rising especially in urban cities but its availability has greatly suffered because of inefficient regulation. In Pakistan’s largest province, Punjab, the quality and supply of government-provided water has decreased whereas private suppliers have gained tremendous importance in the water industry.  

The fall in underground water tables has also taken place along with these changes in urban centers such as Lahore where entire water supply depends on groundwater extraction. In Lahore, currently only 6 percent of the households have functional water meters and the remaining are charged on fixed rate basis. 

Masoodur Rehman and Dr Rafi Amir-ud-Din while presenting their research paper said that middle class stimulates economic growth, mitigates inequality and stabilizes the social structures. Sharing their research they added that that middle class in Pakistan increased from 5.11 per cent to 31.79 per cent from 2004 to 2014. Within the provinces, the highest growth of the middle class was in Balochistan province and smallest growth was in Sindh province. The expansion of middle class was the highest in Shaheed Benazir Abad,  

Dera Ghazi Khan, Nasirabad division while middle class growth is lowest in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi. For determinants of middle class age, non-agricultural employment and human capital significantly increase the probability of an individual to fall in the middle class.  

With respect to the consumption of durable goods, the middle class is found to consume 32% more than lower middle class and poor class combined. Middle class is also found to consume more luxury durables than ordinary durables. This study is expected to provide important insights which can be used for formulating better redistributive policies and for redressing inequality in Pakistan. 

Qazi Muhammad Zulqarnainul Haq and Nadeem Hussain while presenting their research paper said that soon after independence Pakistan discovered the silver bullet to climb up the economic ladder and sustain its existence. The discourse commenced in November 1947 and the need for education provision was discussed as the absolute necessity for economic progress.  

However, this need was equally felt for both the genders but the same could not be translated in reality. Where education provision has remained a challenge till date, gender parity has remained an even greater of a problem. As per Pakistan Education Statistics 2015-16, after Balochistan has the greatest percentage difference male and female enrollment followed by Punjab, whereas KPK has greater combined female enrollment of Pre-primary, Primary, Middle, Secondary and Higher Secondary education than male enrollment. Sindh was the first province post 18th constitution amendment to devise a provincial plan for education also catering gender parity and social cohesion as cross-cutting issues. 

“Winning the race on paper, Sindh still has a long way to go on the real race course. The paper helps in understanding the causes leading to persistent gender disparity in Sindh which go beyond cultural limitations,” they added.