November 7, 2023
DHAKA – The socioeconomic development of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh is being hampered by the prevalence of poor governance and institutional weakness in the three South Asian nations, according to analysts.
“All three are suffering from poor governance and institutional weakness but their civil services are not playing a pro-people role,” said Ishrat Husain, former governor of the State Bank of Pakistan.
“This is because they consider themselves as lords,” he added.
Husain yesterday made these comments at a launching ceremony for a book, titled “Development Pathways – India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, 1947-2022”.
The event was organised by the Policy Research Institute (PRI) of Bangladesh at its office in Dhaka.
The book written by Husain brings together the insights and experiences of socioeconomic development in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh since their independence from British rule in 1947.
“Bureaucrats should change their attitudes and actually serve the people rather than think themselves as lords,” he said.
Husain also said Pakistan had fantastic institutionalisation, such as its planning commission, industrial development corporation and agriculture development corporation, which created a base for developing infrastructure.
“But the country’s institutional confidence started declining from 1990,” he added.
Professor Rehman Sobhan, chairman of the Centre for Policy Dialogue, said like inequality in income, inequality in politics is growing and leading to de-democratisation in the three countries.
In fact, the terms and conditions for participating in politics and establishing leading positions in the field are becoming highly unequal, he added.
Sobhan also said that politics has become a self-perpetuating system for one to increase their wealth.
Besides, economic problems like banking reforms are not being discussed in parliament even though it should be, he added.
Among others, Mohammed Farashuddin and Salehuddin Ahmed, former governors of Bangladesh Bank, Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of PRI, Mohammad Muslim Chowdhury, former comptroller and auditor general of Bangladesh, and former bureaucrats also spoke.
The event was moderated by Zaidi Sattar, chairman of the PRI.