Friday, December 2

SDPI proposes National Economic Security Council to steer country out of crisis

ISLAMABAD: Amid the growing economic complexities, the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), a leading think tank, has proposed to form a National Economic Security Council on the lines of the National Security Council comprising the government, leaders of the opposition in the Parliament (National Assembly and Senate), all the four chief ministers and the representatives from the top military brass.

The proposed Council should agree on a five years economic road map on debt sustainability, energy circular debt management, reform of state-owned enterprises, and resource mobilization. Such a roadmap developed through a consensus should be binding for all political parties and they should agree not to oppose those damage control measures just for the sake of opposition.

According to a statement issued by the SDPI here on Friday, floating this proposal on behalf of SDPI, Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, its Executive Director, elaborated that the current economic crisis could not be handled unless all political parties in the parliament and key stakeholders join hands to steer the country out of the ever-growing socio-economic quagmire.

In the charged political environment, no political leadership representing one side of the divide, or the other side, alone can succeed in taking the country forward. We have witnessed that the previous government and the incumbent government had to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout and the forthcoming government would also do the same as the state of the economy is worsening day by day.

The previous joint opposition’s anti-price hike movement against the then government was not a correct step as they knew the causes of the price hike. Similarly, the incumbent opposition’s call against the present coalition government on a similar issue is also equally not appropriate. The reality is that we will have to keep facing tough conditionalities unless we have a consensus on sustainable economic policies across the political divide.

Amid this brief background, the SDPI suggests the idea of setting up a National Economic Security Council comprising all relevant stakeholders so that future economic policies remain sustainable, and no political vested interest can dilute the national resolve to reach economic security on the lines of strong national security.