Lahore (19th April 2018) Minhaj University organized a Pre-Budget Seminar which was presided over by Deputy Chairman of Board of Governors Dr. Hussain Mohi-ud-Din. Former Finance Secretary Dr. Waqar Masood, Economist Dr. Pervaiz Tahir, former Deputy Chairman FBR Dr. Nadeem ul Haq, PPP leaders Naveed Chaudhry, Barrister Amer Hassan, Economist Dr. Faheem and Mian Imran Masood were chief participants. In their address they said it's not mineral resources but higher education, Science & Technology, research and skilled manpower that ensure prosperity of nations. It is not through construction of roads, bridges and high rise buildings but allocation of national resources of higher education and research can bring Pakistan out of political, economic and social crises. In Pakistan ratio of skilled manpower is about 4 to 6 percent, whereas in Germany this ratio is 76 percent, in Korea, Hungry, Finland, China and Japan this ratio is 100 percent. Even in developing countries this ratio is 66 percent. They said in Pakistan only 2.2 percent Budget is allocated for Education; no specific allocation is made for Technical Education.
Addressing the seminar D. Hussain Mohi-ud-Din said for development of education sector we would have to invest in teacher. Education can be promoted through highly educated and trained teachers not well-constructed and decorated buildings. He said it is matter of concern that Harvard University 151, Colombia University 101, Cambridge University 94, Chicago University has 89 professors who are Nobel laureates. In this context there is complete darkness in Pakistan and Muslim world. He said Royal Society London was established in 1660, more than 8 thousands Professors and Scientists are members of this society, only 4 members belong to Muslim world. He said if Pakistan is not transformed into "skilled and knowledge based economy", Pakistan will never come out of economic, social and political crises. It is painful to see that a hardly 50 percent budget for higher education is consumed. In 2008, one thousand Professors the send to foreign countries for PhD program, now this number is reduced to 250. All projects conceived during past 10 years to promote higher education met with failure, all high claims in this context turned out just statements. 63 percent population of Pakistan is comprised of youth, since their majority is unskilled, so they have become burden to economy. In Punjab there are 11 Education Boards, but only one Technical Education Board. In 2002 budget for Science and Technology was over 6 billion, now this has been reduced to 2 billion, and this is not shortsighted but criminal negligence. In 2002 MOUs were signed with leading international University to open their campuses, which were approved by ECNIC. If those Universities had opened their campuses, Pakistani youth would acquire quality education locally and this would save about 100 billion annually. He said to ensure 100 percent use of development budget; we would have to improve capacity of different departments. So far School education could not use 31 percent of its budget till end of March; likewise higher education is yet to use 40 percent of its budget, and health department 63 percent of Budget.
Dr. Pervaiz Tahir while commenting on the Pre-Budget Seminar expressed that infact the governments to run their own political shows coin out the budget and then take loans to implement their so-called policies in their own interest. He further added that C Pack is a healthy project, but its process of completion is to sluggish.
Dr. Waqar Masood categorically stressed that the present government must not present the budget as their tenure is near to end. It is un understandable why the present government is enforcing to do the job of next government. He added to this end that there stands no guarantee that the newly formulated elected government would accept the budget of the present government which is already near to downfall. He pin pointed that the present budget deficit is more than 8%.
Mr. Khurram Nawaz Gandapur stated that the C Pack project is built up only own loans. He suggested that the Pakistani Techniques/Economist who are in the process of negotiation on various projects with china must opt for the task force. This would result to put the derailed economy of Pakistan on the progressive track.
Dr. Mughees Shaukat spotlighted that due to degrading economic policies and mal functioning of the present government the IMF and World financial organization have strong reservation about the deteriorating economy of Pakistan. It is high time that rather than thriving upon borrowed crutches we must rely on over own resources.
Mr. Naveed Chaudhary said that Amnesty Scheme is just a fudge. He added that the loans are taken with the aim of nepotism & favoritism.
Barrister Amir Hassan said that it is a matter of sheer agony that in our nation the down trodden is out rightly humiliated at the hands of so called tycoons & filthy rich. It is irony of the matter that the poor is made escape goat in the name of taxes and the rich gets scot-free from paying taxes.
Dr. Saeed-a-Shaykh emphasized that it is need of the time to eradicate the gap between the government and the public that of distrust and no confidence. The government policies should be in coherence to each other. The government and the elected leaders stop being diplomatic and must speak the truth. We must ascertain our directions on priority basis. We ought to make such policies that IMF must be hard bound to provide their assistance and help rather than dashing out a dole for help.
Dr. Nadeem ul Haq is of verdict that budget is a highly sensitive issue which directly pertains to the well-being of the nation. It should be dealt in a professional manner by the seasoned economist rather than the politicians in the assembly. To support his argument, he said that in America the budget remains under discussion through out the year. It is matter of pity that in Pakistan every government and the non-government sector upon sufferance due to immense loss.
Dr. Muhammad Aslam Ghauri, the Vice Chancellor of Minahj University owed a word of thanks to the all honorable guest, distinguished speakers, press and the leading politicians as a spoke person from the various leading political parties. He said that the aim of Minhaj University is to provide food for thought by holding such seminars and conferences to built up a strong Pakistan.