Experts term energy wheeling a key to economic development in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

By: Hammad Ahmed

ISLAMABAD: Energy wheeling and industry-academia linkage should be prioritized for improving business regulatory environment in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The experts from Public, private sectors, and academia, said this during the hybrid public-private dialogue on”Better Business Regulatory Environment in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa”  organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and National Network of Economic Think Tanks (NNETT), in collaboration with the University of Swabi.  

Mr Javed Khattak, CEO, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zones Development and Management Company (KPEZDMC), on the occasion highlighted several initiatives of the government for providing relief to the businesses.  Such measure includes keeping the units operational during COVID-19, financial institutions’ reforms, regulatory easing, and manufacturing base enhancement, he added.

Ms Shamama Arbab, Chairperson, Pakistan Stone Development Company (PASDEC) underpinned the need for innovation through active and effective industry-academia linkage. Mr Waheed Khan from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Environmental Protection Agency, emphasized on the need for mechanized mining of marble industry, and incentivized waste management.

Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Joint Executive Director, SDPI, emphasized on the importance of ease of doing business in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Presenting detail of the economic challenges resulting by local and regional political crisis, Dr Ahmed specifically mentioned Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade, and the impact of international inflation on the cost of doing business. The policy and regulatory relief from the government based on these factors should be prioritized., he added.

Project coordinator, Durshal, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Technology Board, Pir Amad Ali Shah, was of view that artisan work for women business development should be one of the focused areas.

The president of the Swabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SwCCI), Mr Muhammad Israr suggested that the institutional strengthening and apolitical decision-making is the key for effective regulatory environment improvement in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Highlighting the role of private sector, the president Swat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), Mr Adnan Ali, asserted on the importance of involving of private sector in decision making. Mr Asghar Khan Utmankhel, while representing Mardan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), suggested that the export potential of marble industry may be fully exploited. This can be done by removing wastage by using innovative methods.

Dr Arif Uddin from MCCI, was of view that SMEs alliance in KP and effective industry academia linkage is the critical need of the hour.

Representing academia, Dr Azmat Hayat from University of Malakand, Dr Javed Iqbal from Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, Dr Sufyan from University of Swabi, and Mr Samiullah, presented various suggestions including establishing centers of excellence and creating effective linkages with the academia.  

Earlier,Ahad Nazir of SDPI presented various aspects including challenges and consultations for effectiveness as a way forward.