QUETTA    -   Federal Minister for Planning Development & Special Initia­tives Ahsan Iqbal on Thursday stressed the need for higher education, especially for the youth in far-flung areas to ac­cess which he said was only possible by building more uni­versities. This he said while congratulating the Pakistan Institute of Development Eco­nomics (PIDE) and BUITEMS for conducting a successful conference which concluded here. The minister graced the occasion as the chief guest.

The 3-day 36th AGM & Con­ference of Pakistan Society of Development Economists (PSDE) was organized by PIDE in collaboration with BUITEMS,

The theme of the conference was “Charter of Economy: In­vestment, Productivity, and Employability.” The collabora­tors and sponsors of the confer­ence included the World Bank Group, CPEC Center of Excel­lence, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, IFAD, National Poverty Gradu­ation Programme, Engro, PPAF, the Bank of Punjab, PMIC, ILO, Nafees Poly Pack, Saudi-Pak Industrial and Agricultural In­vestment Company, and the University of Balochistan.

Prof Iqbal stressed the need for higher education, espe­cially for the youth in far-flung areas which he said was only possible by building more uni­versities. He hoped that this conference would shed light on solutions to our problems, add­ing, “my[Ahsan Iqbal] experi­ence has been that for every economist there is an opposite economist”, so the consensus is hard to come by. He said the need of the hour was policy con­sistency and continuity. This key difference sets India and Bangla­desh apart from us. He said that we must focus on political stabil­ity and export-led growth. Prof Iqbal stressed the need to focus on the 5Es, Enterprise and ex­ports, equity in society through strengthened health and edu­cation. Twenty districts have been identified for accelerated growth program. E-Pakistan and empowerment of youth, energy efficiency and conservation, en­vironment and Food Security.

Meanwhile, Nadeem ul Haque, the Vice Chancellor of Pakistan Institute of Develop­ment Economics, in his address, said that PIDE had come up with a charter of the economy. He stressed the need to ‘de­link’ politics with economics, which were, according to him, separate domains. However, he acknowledged that a political consensus is needed if the char­ter of the economy was to be implemented. The charter talks about, among other things, the kind of parliamentary and local governance structure we should have. Moreover, it also poses the question of whether there should be a limit on the term of a member of parliament and the structure of senate elections