Lahore : A very useful meeting was held by ICMAP delegation headed by Mohammad Iqbal Ghori, President with Muhammad Zubair, Governor of Sindh at Governor House, Karachi during which matters relating to the national economy and the accounting profession came under discussion. Mr. Anis ur Rehman, Vice President ICMA Pakistan was also present. The ICMAP delegation was highly impressed with the Governor’s vast knowledge and insight on accounting and finance and his accumulated wisdom on the current political and economic milieu in the country.
The Governor termed ‘security concerns’ and ‘energy crisis’ as the two main impediments to economic growth when the government assumed charge in June 2013, adding that within a short span of four years the economy has turned around with huge investments made in the power sector and marked improvement in security situation. He said that in four years around US$ 34 billion were invested in power sector alone which has added 5000 mw energy to national grid and another 5000 mw was in pipeline. He pointed out that few days back a US$ 4.5 billion power plant at Thar had been installed jointly by Engro and Hub Power Company.
The Governor was of the view that at present the two severe economic challenges for the government are increased deficits in trade and current account. He hoped that the recent initiatives taken by the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi would yield positive results soon.
To a question raised by the President ICMA Pakistan, Mr. Mohammad Iqbal Ghori, he agreed that adequate branding of Pakistan was not being done at institutional level, though on his part, previously as Chairman of Privatization Commission, and presently as Governor of Sindh, he has been making road shows in foreign markets to showcase the investment potential in Pakistan. He added that in October 2017 he will be heading a delegation of leading Pakistani corporations to different states in USA to hold road shows. He was of the view that the government and private sector should work in unison in this regard.
The Governor Sindh emphasized upon the need for privatizing the loss-making PSEs like PIA and Pakistan Steel after proper restructuring but opined that a strong political will would be required by the government to take bold decisions to layoff inefficient employees on merit-based performance evaluation.
The President ICMA Pakistan apprised the Governor about the significant role played by the management accountants in the development of economy and corporate sector. Referring to the dominance of one accounting profession in the audit profession, he stressed upon the need for forming an independent ‘Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in line with global practice and on pattern as being followed in UK, USA and other countries. He added that the present Oversight Board formed by the regulator does not serve the purpose as it is influenced by people from one profession. He said that ICMA Pakistan was ready to contribute its role towards policy making and initiatives taken for strengthening the financial and economic framework in the country. The Governor agreed that there should be level playing field and there should not be any prerogative for anyone.
The Governor said that ICMAP is a highly professional organization and it can play a pivotal role in pinpointing weaknesses in the government procedures and suggesting pragmatic measures for bringing improvement in transparency in government institutions. He was of the view that such an effort by the Institute would negate the propaganda by media and vested elements in the country who are painting a negative picture about the level of corruption in the country. The Governor also suggested to ICMAP to hold dialogue and interaction with the major political leadership in the country on their vision and plans for improving transparency in government organizations and ensuring proper checks and balances to minimize corruption in the country.