"We are left far
By AMANULLAH BASHAR
Feb 28 - Mar 05, 2000
"The nation is facing the challenge not only to achieve growth but
to achieve sustained growth which is consistent with the highest values in the interest of
the country. "We do have the potential to grow but since we are already left far
behind, we need to accelerate our endeavour to create new initiatives".
These observations were made by Munnawar Hamid, President of the
Pakistan Society for Training and Development (PSTD) in his address of welcome at the
second national human resource conference on the "Competencies and Values of National
Growth" organized by the PSTD in Karachi. The Citibank, Engro, ICI Pakistan Ltd, PPL
and Reckitt & Colman were the leading sponsors of this 2-day conference.
The conference was aimed at developing rigorous and determined
approaches to managing the national affairs with full responsibility to the future
Munnawar Hamid said that PSTD feels that no amount of effort in
promoting professional competencies and values can be enough. Pakistan needs more
dedicated efforts than many developing countries do. We may not be lacking in basic
competencies, as has been proved by the remarkable performance shown by Pakistanis both
inside and outside the country. The nation as a whole does not benefit if the professional
competencies are used for personal and parochial benefits alone and are not applied
towards national growth, he remarked.
The conference which was inaugurated by Syed Babar Ali, Pro-Chancellor
of Lahore University of Management Science, was addressed by eminent professionals and
Dr. Attaur Rehman, Director HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry,
University of Karachi, in his paper highlighted the inadequacy in professional
competencies and values in the field of Science and Technology as the single biggest
reason for a poor cumulative GDP of OIC countries at $1150 billion compared with a single
developed country i.e. Japan with $5100. Thus OIC's weak role in world politics and
economic leadership. Dr. Attaur Rehman emphasized the need for building institutions,
achievement of National Self Reliance, improving teaching and research standards and
methods and improvement in our examination systems as a means to bridge the gap. He
recommended that Science and Technology should be directed to achieving rapid
industrialization, strengthening of agriculture sector, major increase in GDP, adequate
health cover, increase in literacy to 100 per cent, adequate infrastructure and self
reliance in defence technology.
Dr. Hafiz A. Pasha, former federal minister for commerce and the
chairman Tariff Reform Committee who is known for his services for the cause of education
in Pakistan spoke on "Elements of Good Economic Governance". Served as Dean and
Director of IBA, and Vice Chancellor of University of Karachi, Dr. Pasha in his paper said
that the economic literature has traditionally emphasized that the rates of expansion in
the physical inputs lies in capital and labour as the principle source of growth, and that
this explains only part of growth achieved, leaving technical progress and more
importantly human capital unexplained. He focused on issues of what constitute good
governance and explained that for achieving economic growth, there are nine elements
including full harnessing of productions potential for equity, sustainability, fiscal
discipline, institutional capacity of management, policies, credibility protection of the
public interest, effective delivery of services, ability for crisis management, integrity
and sovereignty of state.
For achieving results both short and long term, the government must
take immediate steps for the restoration of investors' confidence, export promotion and
resource mobilisation, he concluded.
Samir A. Hoodbhay, Managing Director, Data Communication and Control
(pvt) Ltd. in his paper on "pursuit of efficiency and values through information
technology" highlighted various aspects of the information technology including use
of website for public information, archiving of public documents, city basemap, land
utilisation, studies, collection of property tax, demographic studies and planning,
traffic management, environment and pollution management, combating crime, computer
integrated manufacturing, simulation and prototyping.
The efficient systems whether related to the areas of computer or
social, are rule based: adhocism is the bone of good governance and that information
technology is merely a tool: it is the human will , sensitivity to one's environment,
social integrity and initiatives of leadership that make dreams come true, he observed.
Mehboob Ellahi, Director General, Ministry of Environment and Local
government in his paper "on management of environment" said that business and
industry of Pakistan has been playing in the intensifying environmental problem. The
pressure of the world environmental protection, explosion of population and rush to the
urban countries have added to the problems connected with environment. Lack of
appreciation of the need to conform to local EPA requirements by a large number of
industries and their inability to see the long term impact of this is one of the major
reasons for our lagging behind other developing countries in this area. He recommended
that a concerted joint effort by the private and public sectors to expedite the process of
total conformity to local EPA standards.