Legislators urge for national response for achieving SDGs and recognizing the role of private sector

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ISLAMABAD,  (DNA) – In what could be a significant step towards achieving SDGs and national development agenda in Pakistan, lawmakers representing major political parties from Senate, National Assembly and four Provincial Assemblies recognizing the importance of achieving SDGs joined hands and vowed to lead the process for generating a national response for achieving SDGs.The legislators had gathered at the First National Legislators’ Conclave, on Financing Sustainable Development Goals. The conclave was organized by Institute of Social and Policy Sciences (I-SAPS) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ).

Apart from different parliamentary leaders including PPP Senior politician Syed Naveed Qamar, Dr. Nafeesa Shah, PML-N Leader Dr. Ahsan Iqbal, Ms. Kanwal Shuzeb Parliamentary Secretary Ministry of Planning & Development, Dr. Nausheen Hamid, Parliamentary Secretary Health services, Mujahid Ali, Sahibzada Kamal ud Din, Mufti Abdul Shakoor, Syed Javaid Husnain and, the participants included Punjab MPAs Mohsin Khan Leghari, Rana Munawar Ghuas, Aisha Nawaz, Sadia Sohail Rana and Raheela Khadim Hussain; Sindh MPAs Rashid Khan Khilji, Rabia Azfar and Barrister Hasnain Ali Mirza; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa MPAs Taj Muhammad Khan, Humaira Khatoon, Zeenat Bibi and Shugfta Malik; and Balochistan MPAs Nasrullah Khan Zayrai, Abdul Wahid Saddiqui, and Bushra Rind. Senators who participated in the event included; Senator Usman Khan Kakar, Senator Kabir Ahmad Muhammad Shahi, Senator Naseebullah Bazai, Senator Abida Azeem

Mr. Mohsin Khan Leghari Convener National Caucus, Minister Irrigation Government of Punjab, while opening the proceedings, said that since we do not have any defined yardstick to measure the parameters effecting core issues our economy is trapped in, the conclave informed all the participants of the key challenges faced in financing sustainable development. He stressed the need for a continuous efforts by the legislators for achieving SGDs. He stressed that it is high time to recognize the key role of private sector in supporting and assisting governments in meeting the national development targets.

In context of private sector’s role in financing sustainable development, explained I-SAPS Research Fellow Ahmad Ali, among the challenges that we are facing, resource constraint such as, the financial flows, their inconsistency, delays in fund release, are the biggest challenges in achieving SDGs. Mr. Ali while highlighting the role of private sector, elaborated that 90 percent jobs, 60 percent of GDP and 80 percent capital flows are driven through private sector. Moreover, CSR contributes 7.66 Billion to the national development. According to I-SAPS recent study, 77 percent of the private sector organizations and corporate entities are willing to collaborate with government. 23 percent of these organizations are even willing to make financial contributions.

Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian’s senior leader Syed Naveed Qamar and Nafeesa Shah while appreciating the efforts of the Institute of Social & Policy Sciences and emphasized that governments have to develop a legal and policy framework for working with the private sector to help them, adding that there is need for a legal and policy framework for engaging private sector proactively for supporting governments.

Nafeesa Shah said that private sector needs to be onboard if resources are not coming from the government, adding that SDGs are what our constitution says, but the real problem is that when we come to the government, we find that the treasury is empty.

She said that the private sector should be called in the next meeting along with the parliamentarians and a better policy should be formulated to make them part of the process. She appreciated the efforts of all the delegates and congratulated on the formation of National Caucus on Financing Sustainable Development.

Ms. Kanwal Shauzab, Parliamentary Secretary MoPDR was nominated as the National Convener for the National Caucus on Financing Sustainable Development. She said that the formation of this caucus is a significant move and is reflective of the resolve of the legislators to drive the national development process. She vowed that the National Caucus on Financing Sustainable Development will enable formation of policies, rules and regulations necessary for achieving SDGs. While affirming the Significance of Private Sector participation in SDGs, she said that the caucus will be a vehicle to create an enabling environment and facilitating private sector mainstream with Governments’ SDGs Agenda.