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WAY WARD ECONOMIC POLICIES

WAY WARD ECONOMIC POLICIES

WAY WARD ECONOMIC POLICIES

Dr.Aktar Hasan Khan

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Rs295.00

Number of Pages:180Pages
Publisher:Ferozsons
ISBN :9789690022714
Binding :Paper Back

 

 

 
 

Economics is a dry subject. Carlyle dubbed it as a 'dismal science'.There is no imagination or subjectivity in its analysis and reasoning. Theories are based on reality and hard facts. In fact modern economics has become highly mathematical and most of the articles in distinguished economic journals are beyond the understanding of non-numerate scholars. There are few world famous economists like Galbraith, Stiglitz and Sen who write for the lay readers but most of the recent Nobel prizes were given to economists for very esoteric theories.Despite its complexity, economics deals with everyday subjects like agricultural and inJustrial output, prices, interest rates, exchange rates, and jobs-topics which are of deep concern to the common man. Day-to-day life of the layman is deeply influenced by changes in the economic indicators. The interest in economic issues is widespread, more than in any other art or science, but its practitioners are making it more and more mathematical, thereby restricting its readership. In order to communicate widely, economic columnists for newspapers must write in plain, simple language, without using terms like microeconomics, macroeconomics, core inflation, etc. Therefore, every effort has been made in these articles to write without resorting to jargon.Reasonably enough, newspapers also do not permit articles with tables on op-ed pages. For economists, presenting a table with source and then eXplaining it analytically is the standard academic pursuit. To explain a subject without supporting figures in a table demands a drastic change in writing technique. Another limitation which is mandat{)ry is that the article must be between 1,000 to 1,200 words. Thus, expatiate or squeeze as he will, the columnist must adhere to this form whatever may be the nature of his subject.The subject on which many of the columns collected in the present publication were written is privatization. Liberalization, deregulation and privatization was the standard trilogy of the World Bank, the IMP and the US Treasury, popularly known as the Washington Consensus. This trilogy has been thoroughly discredited by the recent global financial crisis leading to worldwide recession. There have been painful job cuts, slide in output and pervasive bleak economic outlook. In Pakistan during the Musharraf period and even earlier, privatization was pursued as an ideology without regard to proper sequencing, nature of units to be sold, mode of privatization, proper evaluation and transparency. This author, having headed a public sector corporation with market success and dealing with related issues while working in the Ministries of Planning, Finance and Production (public sector units Ministry merged with Ministry of Industries), was moved to pen these articles on the risky process of privatization.Agriculture has remained a neglected sector in Pakistan, although more than sixty percent population lives in the rural areas and it absorbs more than forty percent of the workforce. Our yields per hectare are about half of the best developing countries. Last year, ending June 2009, we had to import two and half million tons of wheat. The year before tnat, we imported three million bales of cotton. Often, we import sugar. Not only can we be self-sufficient, but can export all these three commodities, if intelligent public policy evokes immense response from the farmers across the country. The hike in wheat prices, stemming from mismanagement, has increased the poverty rate by about ten percent. Pakistan's agricultural policies, framed by elite bankers with no field experience, resulted in low output and rising rural poverty.The subjects covered in this publication have been divided into four sections. The first section deals with articles on privatization and the second on agriculture. The third section has articles on socio­economic issues like social capital, dual economy,. language divide, monetary policy, unsustainable current account deficit, poverty, shrinking middle class, etc. The fourth section deals with international perspectives like East Asian miracle, dangerous political divide in the US, Third way for the Third millennium, Doha Round in Doldrums, cell phone revolution, etc.I hope these short articles (which appeared in newspapers), primarily on diverse economic subjects which are relevant even today will provide interesting reading on our national economic issues, evoke interest to study the subjects in greater detail and lead to more active policy participation on these issues by the civil society.

 

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