Pakistan's Development — The Role of Government and Private Enterprise

Swadesh R. Bose


In the 1960's Pakistan's economy started generating rates of
growth of over 5 per cent per year—higher than those observed in many
other underdeveloped countries including its neighbours. Industry is
growing rapidly. Exports are increasing by over 7 per cent per year.
Perhaps more significant, many believe, an agricultural revolution is
underway. Some observers consider this to be remarkable and a model of
development in the non-socialist world. However, the brief growth
experience of the 1960's, after the long stagnation during the 1950's,
can hardly be a basis for definitive conclusions about long-run
development. Observation of a longer period and evidence of certain
basic conditions are necessary for such extrapolation. The dependence on
foreign aid continues to be large and the domestic saving rate is
relatively low. It is too early to talk of self-sustaining growth. How
and why Pakistan could achieve this development and what it signifies
for the country's future growth is surely of interest. Yet apart from
some spotty reviews of progress, mainly from official sources, no
systematic and comprehensive study of Pakistan's development process
explaining its mechanism had been available. Dr. Papanek's book on
Pakistan's development [13] is an important contribution in this field.
The author analyses the factors that led to development in the past, and
drawing upon that experience, suggests policies that would accelerate
future development. He tries to explain how the saving rate was raised
in a poor country of traditional agriculture, where industrial investors
came from, how agricultural output could be increased at a high rate,
and what role government and private initiative played in this
development. Any analysis of the role of government and private
enterprise has ideological overtones, and the reader of Dr. Papanek's
book is definitely aware of his in¬dividual predilections. This does
not, however, reduce the worth of the book.

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