Energy crisis, agriculture sector overlooked in manifestos: speakers

Friday, April 12, 2013

Energy crisis, agriculture sector
Energy crisis, agriculture sector

LAHORE: If manifestos of Pakistani political parties are very good documents, in the sense that they cover the issue electricity crisis, they ignore gas crisis and agriculture sector problems.

These views were expressed by industrial and trade experts while commenting on political parties’ election promises here on Wednesday. The speakers included: Punjab University IBA director Prod Dr Ehsan Malik, Irfan Qaiser Sheikh, Sohail Lashari, Manzoor-ul-Haq Malik and Dr Khalid Hameed. The event was hosted by Sikindar Hameed Lodhi and Intikhab Tariq.

Dr Ehsan Malik said if the political parties implemented their manifestos it would benefit all. There are still flaws in the parties’ manifestos, he said and added that commercial attachés and diplomats were not consulted in the process.

Calling for steps to improve industrial sector, he said Pakistan had five per cent of world cotton and gold but, due to mismanagement, the country could not benefit from it. He said the next government should take concrete steps for industries revival for employment-creation and revenue-generation.

Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said the manifestos of all political parties somehow looked alike but the good thing was that business community was consulted in the whole process which would bring positive results. He said the political parties were claiming to resolve energy crisis in three to five years but no party had mentioned the gas crisis. He said 2.5 per cent GDP growth rate was affected by energy crisis. He said no party had mentioned about discrimination against Punjab in energy distribution.

Sohail Lashari said non technocrats were elected in election due to which election promises were not fulfilled and manifestos were ignored. He said political parties could implement their manifestos through technocrats’ teams only. He said the political parties should focus on promotion of regional trade and independent foreign policy.

Manzoor-ul-Haq Malik said that only promises and claims could not bring about improvement. He underlined the need for political leaderships to introduce reforms for real time improvements. He said political parties should include finishing the discretionary fund, equal opportunities for business community, publishing ACRs of civil servants and filing of tax returns of parliamentarian in election manifestos. He said the country was bleeding due to bad governance and political parties had not completed homework on this account too.

Dr Khalid Hameed said no party had given importance to agriculture sector in their manifestos. He said water issue, which was becoming more critical by every passing day, was also ignored. He said the political parties should consult the stakeholders to improve the agricultural inputs. He said no political party had given concrete solution to eradicate corruption.

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