No #13

The Financial Daily - - CONTINUATIONS -

among 42 coun­tries of the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion. The Her­itage Foun­da­tion says in­ef­fi­cient reg­u­la­tory agen­cies in­hibit busi­ness for­ma­tion in Pak­istan. "Ac­cess to bank credit also un­der­mines en­trepreneur­ship, and the fi­nan­cial sec­tor's seclu­sion from the out­side world has slowed in­no­va­tion and growth," it noted.

The In­dex of Eco­nomic Free­dom is not the only in­dex that paints Pak­istan's econ­omy in a bad light. For ex­am­ple, the World Bank Group's Do­ing Busi­ness 2015 re­port also ranked Pak­istan 128th out of 189 economies of the world in terms of the ease of do­ing busi­ness that it of­fers to en­trepreneurs.

How­ever, the col­lec­tive weight of the Her­itage Foun­da­tion's re­search and ob­ser­va­tions from the World Bank mean lit­tle to an economist like Kaiser Ben­gali who has strong leftist lean­ings. It may ar­guably be one of the most prom­i­nent think tanks in­ter­na­tion­ally, but Ben­gali says its re­search and find­ings stand dis­cred­ited be­cause of a clear right-wing bias.

"By eco­nomic free­dom, Her­itage Foun­da­tion ac­tu­ally means the lib­erty of multi­na­tional com­pa­nies to loot and plun­der in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries. I'm happy that it doesn't con­sider Pak­istan to be eco­nom­i­cally free," Ben­gali said.

Ben­gali cur­rently serves as the head of the Balochis­tan Chief Min­is­ter's Pol­icy Re­form Unit and has pre­vi­ously served as an eco­nomic ad­vi­sor to the Sindh govern­ment.

Balochis­tan, with its abun­dant min­eral re­sources, would stand to ben­e­fit tremen­dously if its min­ing laws were lib­er­alised to be­come more in­vestor friendly, but leftist pop­ulism like that of Ben­gali has so far pre­vented that from hap­pen­ing. In­deed, it was a pop­ulist up­roar that forced Chilean min­ing com­pany Antofa­gasta and Cana­dian min­ing gi­ant Bar­rick Gold to aban­don their planned $3 bil­lion joint ven­ture to de­velop the Reko Diq cop­per and gold mine.-Agen­cies

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.