The Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) is hosting the 37th Annual General Meeting and Conference of the Pakistan Society of Development Economists (PSDE), addressing the critical theme of “Breaking the Aid–Debt Chains.”
This distinguished event, in collaboration with Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU), Multan, is scheduled to take place from November 20 to 23, 2023, according to a press release issued here on Sunday.
In the face of chronic fiscal challenges, persistent political uncertainty, and ongoing inflationary trends, Pakistan finds itself grappling with domestic and international financial obligations. PIDE’s 37th PSDE Conference serves as a platform to address the pressing need to evaluate Pakistan’s financing constraints and fiscal challenges, exacerbated by excessive government spending without sustainable feasibility assessments.
While Pakistan has historically sought foreign aid to finance trade gaps and domestic development, decades of policy failures necessitate practical reforms and policy prioritization.
The 37th PSDE Conference aims to deliberate on how international financing aligns with domestic growth agendas and seeks sustainable solutions to economic challenges, especially in the context of recent environmental catastrophes like devastating floods.
A crucial aspect to be explored during the conference is the assessment of government spending at various tiers and revenue realization against potential over the last decade. This evaluation, encompassing federal, provincial, and local levels, is vital for achieving consolidated fiscal balances and efficient governance.
The role of local governments, a fundamental pillar of governance, will be scrutinized for its continuity and efficiency, especially in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and fostering social inclusion.
The 37th PSDE Conference will bring together economists, social scientists, policymakers, businesspersons, and various stakeholders on a single platform to deliberate on these pressing issues facing Pakistan’s economy. It also provides an opportunity for young scholars to engage in the debate and learn about Pakistan’s economy.
Through keynote lectures, panel discussions, debates, and research papers, the conference aims to generate immediate, medium, and long-term policy steps to break the cycle of fiscal despair. The objective is to foster sustainable growth for Pakistan without resorting to quick fixes in the form of debt or aid.
The highlights of this year’s conference include the Quaid-i-Azam Lecture by Prof. Jeffery Sachs of Columbia University, a special invited lecture on “Social Equity and Economic Reforms” by Luis Felipe Calva of the World Bank, a special invited lecture by Prof. Abid Aman Burki of LUMS on “Aid Effectiveness Revisited in the Context of Pakistan”, a special invited lecture on “Fiscal Management for the Revival of the Economy” by Faisal Rasheed of the Oxford Policy Management, 6 panel discussions on various themes pertinent to the revival of Pakistan’s economy, and technical papers on various topics.
The cohosts of PSDE’s 37th Annual Conference, organized by PIDE, include the World Bank Group, UNICEF, RASTA, the Bank of Punjab, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, Saudi Pak Agricultural and Industrial Investment Company, and BZU School of Economics.