PAKISTAN AT 50: THE DEVELOPMENT EXPERIENCE
The purpose of the Annual General Meeting and Conference of the Pakistan Society of Development Economists (PSDE) is to provide a forum where leading professional economists and policy-makers can exchange ideas on the vital economic and social issues facing Pakistan. With the passage of time, the philosophy of development has undergone a profound change. There is now, as never before, an increasing awareness of the complexities involved in the development process which has engendered a greater sense of realism. In Pakistan’s development experience, a number of problems typically confronting developing countries in their progress towards a self-reliant economy have been tackled. These problems are complex and multidimensional in nature. High rates of population growth, uneven distribution of income, low literacy rates, poor health facilities, relatively low saving rates, large internal and external deficits, and inadequate physical infrastructure for energy generation and communications threaten to nullify the modest economic gains made here, as in many other developing countries. Since its inception in 1947, the economic development in Pakistan has been quite lopsided. During the last 50 years many cataclysmic events have rocked the economy. Yet Pakistan’s economy has grown more rapidly than the economies of its South Asian neighbours. The Annual General Meeting and Conference of the Society is also an occasion for stock-taking of the work done on various socio-economic problems of Pakistan at PIDE and elsewhere, as well as for suggesting new initiatives for further research. These Meetings provide for the much needed communication amongst the economics profession, policy-makers, and various schools of interested observers of the ongoing debate. As part of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Pakistan, the Thirteenth Annual General Meeting and Conference of the Society, being held on December 15-17, 1997, has been devoted to Pakistan’s development experience over the last 50 years. The major topics to be covered include: fiscal federalism, agriculture and rural development, human resource development, governance and civil society, issues in economic growth, rural development and poverty alleviation, financial sector reforms and growth, population and development, resource mobilisation and development, globalisation and industrial growth, foreign capital inflow and growth, migration, and health issues. A highlight of this year’s Conference is the Inaugural Address by Senator Sartaj Aziz, Federal Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs, and Planning. The Keynote Address by Dr. Nafis Sadik, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund, will focus on social change. The Quaid-i-Azam Memorial Lecture, being delivered by Professor Gustav Ranis of Yale University, will deal with human development issues and economic growth. The Iqbal Memorial Lecture, by Professor M. Ali Khan of The Johns Hopkins University, will address the issues of population, education, and environment. Other papers, in the Distinguished Lectures series, are “Learning from the Past: A Fifty-Year Perspective of Pakistan’s Development” by Dr Parvez Hasan; “The Effects of the Foreign Direct Investment Liberalisation on Pakistan” by Professor Stephen Guisinger; “Agricultural ‘Crises’ in Pakistan: Some Explanations and Policy Options” by Professor Mahmood Hasan Khan; and “Pakistan’s Managerial Dilemmas” by Professor Hilton L. Root. A key feature of this year’s Conference is the discussion on the future direction of economic policy-making in Pakistan based on 50 years of development experience. Other prominent speakers include: Dr. Mahbubul Haq, Dr. Hafiz A. Pasha, Mr. Saeed Ahmed Qureshi, and Dr. Sarfraz K. Qureshi.
PAPERS PRESENTED AT THE 13th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF PSDE – 1997
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