Trade, industrial policy soon, says Commerce Adviser


Salahuddin Haider


Very soon, perhaps within a month, trade and industrialization policy will be announced, said the Adviser to the prime minister on Commerce, Textile Industry and Production, and Investment Razak Dawood during a speech at English Speaking Union here, emphasizing that stability has already been reached, and focus was now on growth and exports for which new markets like Africa, will need to be concentrated upon.
Admitting that stability was yet to deliver fully, as growth remained a problem, but asserted that being an optimist, he had now doubt that with concerted efforts the goal could well be achieved, for a direction has been set, and through persistent endeavours, it would be reality in times to come.
But he set no deadline for that which showed that mere optimism would not work, and a clear cut, well thought out plan was readied, which in the opinion of experts, was still a far-fetched dream. Perhaps Razak Dawood was conscious of the fact that much more is needed to be done, and far more rapidly and speedily than till now.
His reminder that for initial years since country’s independence, Pakistan had all along been well on the road to progress, being the regional leader in economic field, but overlooked the fact that in Ayub Khan’s days, a powerful, fully autonomous Planning Commission, with Saeed Ahmad as its chief, and Sartaj Aziz, Jameel Nishtar, and Dr Mahboobul Haq as members, was on job round the clock, and five year plan, formed the basis of economic, trade and investment policies. Even perspective planning of 10, and 20 years were ready for government’s guidance. That is now missing, which caused most of the difficulties for those at the helm since last three decades. Mere rhetoric, promises etc, may just be exercise in futility.
However, the Adviser appeared confident that with emphasis on growth and exports, especially with focus on Africa as potential market, will yield results, and uninterrupted, sustained labour will finally achieve 7 percent growth rate for Pakistan “within our life times”. He said growth , though slow, is bound to increase with stability. Both are inter-linked and the government was working zealously to overcome hurdles, and ensure a healthier, prosperous future for the countrymen. He had discussions with the prime minister, and even was encouraged by adviser on finance Hafeez Sheikh.