Apr 27 - May 10, 2009

Centre for Research in Sindh (CRIS), recently established under the patronage of the Government of Sindh, organized the first Policy Seminar on Sindh Annual Development Plan (ADP) and Budget 2009-2010 recently at the Institute of Business Management, (IoBM) Korangi Creek Karachi. This Policy Seminar provided a forum for pre-budget exchange of views on Sindh's fiscal and development strategy between policy makers, business people, corporate sector, academia and media.

The welcome speech was given by Mr. Talib Karim, IoBM Executive Director, Academics, Corporate Affairs and Business Support Centre. The keynoter address was delivered by Syed Asad Ali Shah (FCA), President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan and Chairman Thar Coal Authority. Presentations were made on expectations about Sindh Budget 2009-2010 by industrialists, businessmen, and bankers and Sindh's Annual Development Program 2009-2010.

Syed Asad Ali Shah said increase in operational scope and authority must be accompanied by an increase in resources which require a revision of the NFC Award formula. Such revision should take in to account that Sindh is the largest contributor of federal tax revenues. Mr. Shah endorsed the proposals prepared by the Centre for Research in Sindh about restructuring business education in Sindh. He requested the government to incorporate these proposals in Sindh's ADB10.

CRIS presented proposals for legislation for information disclosure and cost sharing among business, government and the community as regard to social and environmental effects of business restructuring. The Centre for Research in Sindh also proposed the creation of the Sindh Governing Board for business education to promote partnership between business schools, firms, and banks. The Council would monitor the work of the business schools and accredit them. The Centre also proposed the establishment of links between Karachi based business schools and departments of business and commerce in government colleges throughout the provinces. Karachi based business schools would support training and business reengineering programme in other cities province wide.

In response to the proposal by the CRIS on restructuring business education in Sindh, there was a positive response from the Sindh Government suggesting that private institutions would be encouraged to plan and organize business education in major cities of Sindh and that the government would provide land and infrastructural facilities in this regard. Representatives of the Sindh Government also invited proposals not only from the seminar participants but also from the general public to make the Sindh Annual Development Plan 2009-2010 a model and stressed upon the practical need for private-public partnership in this regard.

Earlier a Higher Education Commission supported conference on "Sindh Progress and Prospects" organized by IoBM in Karachi in collaboration with University of Sindh, Jamshoro which was attended by Mr. Nisar Khuhro, Speaker Sindh Assembly and Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq, Sindh Education Minister. It assessed the progress made during the past decade in socio-economic sectors, investment, HRD, IT strategies, and health. A development strategy was articulated for realizing Sindh's inherent potential. The conference provided a sound research and reference base for the Center for Research in Sindh to contribute to enhancing competitiveness and productivity in the province. The IoBM Centre for Research in Sindh was established in August 2008. The Chairman of the Centre is Mr. Nisar Khuhro.

(Parvez Jamil, Institute of Business Management, Korangi Creek, Karachi)