LAHORE - Renowned economist Dr Nadeemul Haq has said the policymakers must learn to respect domestic thinking, use it and interact with it. We need think tanks. It dismays me to say that Lahore has no think tank - the city of Allama Iqbal and many other leading thinkers, he added. He was addressing The Nation pre-budget seminar held on Saturday at a local hotel. Dr Haq pointed out that today we are at the bottom of all international lists. The failed state index, competitiveness indicators TIs corruption, governance indicators, cost of doing business indicators all rank us at the lowest levels. He said that for last five years he has been writing papers arguing that our growth strategy is wrong as we are stifling domestic commerce. The state of the union in Pakistan is in despair and we are all sombre with terrible anticipations. For me it is time for reflection and thinking. Practical policies and practical men have failed Let us accept it and like the rest of the world accept learning and research as a guide. Reforms should be our buzzword for the next 20 years. The media must incentivize our practical men to think of reforms. It must give more space to reform and reform thinking and research. Media must ask for more thinking centres, he observed. Strongly criticising the policymakers in a rhetoric way, Dr Haq said that their 'practical policy is keeping the status quo of rent-seeking, injustice and a failed state intact. Practical policy is no reform of decayed, politicised and corrupt systems. Practical policy is preserving a culture of no domestic thinking, domestic debate or even any local reading 'Practical policy is going around the world shamelessly with a begging bowl only to avoid domestic reform and thinking. 'Practical policy is slavishly following donor plans and praying for good weather, he observed. He said that in his opinion poverty is in ideas and added that 'we are too poor in terms of our thinking, vision and dreams. He said that it is budget time and we will all get wildly excited about economic policy. He said that we would have wild expenditure and tax suggestions and added that he is not optimistic. Addressing the pre-budget seminar, APTMA Chairman Tariq Mehmood sought vital intervention of the government in tax regime to ensure revival of industry. He stressed upon a stable environment with more market access to deal with competitiveness issues amid global economic meltdown. He urged the govt to revive industry in order to generate exportable surplus and create employment through much-needed changes in existing tax regime. He said that the textile spinning and weaving industry was facing unprecedented crises since July 2006. Consequently, sizeable textile capacity has been severely impaired, he said and added that textile exports in quantity and value terms have declined all across the value chain by 30 - 40pc comparing with the maximum export year in 2006-07. One major factor behind the declining trend is the erosion of Pakistan textile industrys competitiveness, he maintained.