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State of Sindh’s economy

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THE process of devolution of power to federating units started by the 18th Amendment has generated extremely useful discussions on these units’ economic potential and their capacity to properly use the newly acquired authority and financial resources.

Some time ago, Dr Kaiser Bengali offered an account of Balochistan’s deprivations and pointed out the possibilities of its economic recovery and progress. Now Dr Ishrat Husain, Prof Aijaz Qureshi and Nadeem Hussain (a young scholar) and Oxford University Press have joined hands to produce a 500-page study on The Economy of Modern Sindh, and discussed “opportunities lost and lessons for the future”.

A first look at the contents, from ‘Land and People’ to ‘Public Finance, Taxation and Resource Mobilisation’ suggests that the book might be one of those annual reports the Sindh government has been publishing to introduce the readers to basic facts about the province and its own achievements. It is not like one of those unreadable publicity vehicles. It is also distinguishable from the federal Economic Survey because it does not gloss over governments’ deficiencies and failure with unconvincing explanations.

In this study, the authors draw upon both official statistics and civil society researches — by Arif Hasan and Hafiz Pasha, for instance — while analysing Sindh’s potential and problems. They are not afraid of polemics, nor of the echoes of the Sindhi nationalist arguments in their narrative.

The findings of a study on Sindh assume special significance when........

© Dawn