THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
Regulation, Competition, and Information
You know it is very hard after the Governor, State Bank, to make a presentation but I will try to do it in a very mundane way. You know the Regulatory Bodies specially in the Economic Sector in recent times. There has been a sort of resurgence, leaving aside the regulation of the financial sector, which has been doing very well. Our old memory of regulation is not so pleasant. Long ago, there used to be a transport Authority which used to dole out “Route Permits” as political favours, and there was you know fixation of Bus Fares not always based on economic considerations but based on arbitrariness. But luckily we have learnt a lot. First, we learnt that it is good to deregulate and I think the primary purpose of the present resurgence is to deregulate. You have a regulatory body to deregulate. Secondly as the finance Minister said yesterday himself that this is a new paradigm. The regulation now has a major ingredient of a development role and in Pakistan with the combination of licencing as necessary part of regulation, you are very effective in that role and it also genuinely provides an opportunity for a one window type of operation where you give a permission and you facilitate the type approvals and then you help them dealing with the local agencies. Although you have brief period for evaluation but the preliminary perception is that they are fairing better than our Industrial Development Corporations which were given the role to promote the Private Sector.