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Society IBA JAMSHORO MEMORIAL LECTURE
Society SEMINAR AT ISRA UNIVERSITY, HYDERABAD
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SOCIETY

SEMINAR AT ISRA UNIVERSITY, HYDERABAD
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN SINDH

Seminar held at the Department of Management Sciences. Isra University, Hyderabad.

By SHAFAQ FATIMA BAIG
Faculty member Dptt. of Mgt. Sciences
July 01 - 07, 2002

As per tradition Department of Management Sciences at Isra University, organized an expert and skilful lecture.

The lecture on "Economic Development in Sindh" was delivered by one of the committed professional of our country Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Minister for Finance, Planning and Development, Govt. of Sindh.

As planned the lecture started at 5:00pm in the evening, with a recitation of the verses from Holy Quran. Then the vice chancellor Dr Assadullah Kazi came up for the welcome address highlighting the achievements of Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and the hallmarks of his professional career that gave way to the strategic position of being the Finance Minister.

Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh started the lecture by pinpointing the elements essential for the economic development and the most important of which makes up increase in the exports. He quoted the example of Hong Kong which is smaller then Nazimabad (densely populated area) of Karachi but due to its economic policies, it's foreign trade and foreign currency measures are much higher than Pakistan.

Specifically speaking, for the current economic situation in Sindh, firstly he mentioned the strengths of Sindh, which includes the logistically located port, and the airport and than the coastline for tourism, and the presence of river Indus with all its resources.

Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh mentioned the bottlenecks jamming the economic development of Sindh when the present Government took charge. The efforts that were carried out by the Sindh government to increase revenues were fruitful. But the revenue earned was channalized towards the payment of Rs. 20 billion, which was one of the unpaid expenditure of the previous government.

The Finance Minister mentioned the good earnings of the Sindh government but up till now they were used to payoff the debt and previous expenses. Then, he also vividly told the audience the stagnancy in various projects of Sindh which were stopped on the verge of completion because of the absence of foreign financial pumping, coming again on the elements crucial to the economic development, he took the example of developed and emerging economies like Brazil and China who are strongly concerned about educating their people, and investing therefore in human capital. He emphasized on the strong need of increasing access to the education for all people.

Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh also stressed on the investment in the poor people by giving them access to health and infrastructure & social protection. He proudly identified the steps taken by the Sindh government to improve the conditions of the people living below the poverty line making less than a dollar in a year. Another important consideration of the Sindh government that was mentioned during the lecture was restoring the foreigners' confidence, the first and the foremost incentive to bring in financial investment. He candidly mentioned the law and order situation of Karachi due to which the country lost a few of the projects. However, the government was successful to bring in good projects again. The increase in business confidence has kept both domestic and foreign investment on a growing scale. The home remittances from US and UAE have also grown.

Though the minister brought in discussion various examples of countries that have achieved a noteworthy economic growth rate but he referred to the fact that the key principles for economic development are clear, although, there is no single road to follow. Countries should device there own strategies and models that suit them the best.

Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh greatly impressed the young interestedly listening students by telling them about his expectations from them. He said that the young blood could change things. They have the stamina to work round the clock and can take the nation to a safer haven. He strongly advised them not to act like cynical or skeptics but should have a bright vision and outlook of life.

The lecture was followed by a question answer session. And the distinguished guest was asked candid questions. The Finance Minister gave the clear answers with exact facts and figures.

After the lecture, a vote of thanks was due to come. Prof. Dr Amanat Ali Jalbani, chairperson, department of management sciences came up to express thanks and gratitude on behalf of the whole university. He expressed his faith in the words of Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, promising a bright future for Sindh.