Former CCP chief gives his take on the economy | Pakistan Today

Former CCP chief gives his take on the economy

LAHORE – Government deficits, lack of both economic vision and political will are major challenges the country is facing on the economic front. Regulators have failed to make a tangible difference as the government has completely overlooked their prescribed role.
These observations were made by the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) former Chairman Khalid Mirza, while addressing the members of Lahore Economic Journalists Association (LEJA) here on Wednesday. He was delivering a lecture on the “Role of Regulators in Corporate Governance”.
Mirza was of the view that there was no clarity in the government’s economic vision with inflation now reaching alarming heights and the government’s deficits at an all time high, but with a lack of resolve on the addressing of core economic issues. He opined, “It seems the government wants to weaken the system and regulations.”
Criticising the role of the central bank as a regulator, he said that Pakistan had a weak Monetary Policy with the central bank printing new currency notes to finance the government’s deficits. He said regulators should be autonomous to allow them to play their requisite role effectively. But this had not possible in the present situation, he lamented.
It was indicated that in many regulatory bodies, the regulators were weak or did not possess either requisite qualification or technical knowledge, a matter of great concern. He underlined that there was a dire need to provide complete autonomy to three regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) for the economic revival in the country.
He underlined that the private sector was the engine of growth in any economy, but no serious effort was being made in Pakistan to provide a level playing field to all players. During the discussion, he pointed out that the government was overseeing the regulators by appointing unqualified heads. He stressed that that there was unanimous approval for economic liberalisation, but without strong regulation, an economy could not flourish.
He said that the government had increased its intervention in regulatory affairs, which was badly affecting the role of regulators and weaken the regulations. Mirza believed that regulatory bodies were already facing the multiple challenges, including issues related to enforcement and regulations. He pointed out that State Bank was printing currency notes to finance the government’s deficits, but was not able to tackle real economic and monetary issues.

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