Tag Archives: services

Towards meaningful devolution

By Jamil Nasir

THE Social Policy and Development Centre (SPDC) recently launched its report with the title Devolution and Human Development in Pakistan. The report, inter alia, has analysed the impact of the devolution plan on the poor and marginalised sections of society.

The finding of the report is that the system of local government introduced in 2001 in the country is plagued with the phenomenon of ‘elite capture’ and has not delivered well on enhancing the participation of ‘the voiceless and the marginalised’ sections of society in decision-making. The report further says that the influence of family, caste, tribe and other political affiliations permeates the fabric of local government institutions with the result that the political landscape of Pakistan is still dominated by the elite.

The idea of devolution per se is globally recognised as an effective arrangement for empowering people at the local level. Many countries in the world have either undertaken or are in the process of devolution by transferring political, fiscal and administrative responsibilities to the lower levels of the government. In some countries, devolution is considered a natural corollary to democratisation while in others it is spurred by the failure of the central government to deliver basic public services. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Devolution, Pakistan

In pursuit of a better Dhaka

“Dhaka’s population has grown from 7 million in 1991 to 11 million today. Clearly the city is not prepared for this, compelling many people to live in the open, covered only by bamboo, sacking, polythene or cardboard. Such unprecedented urban growth is placing a strain on municipal management and, as ever, the burden falls heaviest on the poor. Local governments especially are proving ill equipped to cope with the additional demands for land, housing, food, services and infrastructure, and have difficulty with the environmental and social costs of rapid urbanization.It is now accepted by most international agencies and professionals that urbanization is inevitable, and a precondition to economic and social development. It is now acknowledged that for all their problems, urban areas are the primary engines of economic growth, as well as social and technical innovation. The evidence shows that cities generate a disproportionately higher ratio of central government revenues and economic activity relative to their population levels. The challenge is therefore to evolve appropriate and sustainable ways of managing the urbanization process, rather than seeking to prevent it.”

Full story: http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=21423

Leave a comment

Filed under Bangladesh, Poverty, Urban

Islamic Finance – inisghts and issues

“Islamic financial services industry is becoming an increasingly important part of the global financial system. Since its inception almost three decades ago, the number of Islamic financial institutions worldwide has increased to more than 300 located in over 75 countries. Though primarily concentrated in the Middle East, African and South East Asian countries with significant Muslim populations, a number of Islamic banks and asset managers are also establishing and expanding in Europe and North America. Islamic finance now transcends the boundaries of many countries across the World. Most of the major international banks have established Shariah compliant subsidiaries and opened their own Shariah compliant banking windows. According to a recent report by a leading rating agency, the global Islamic financial industry’s Shariah compliant assets are now estimated to be worth over US$ 500 billion. These have grown at an annual rate of between 15-20% over the past decade and are expected to maintain this upward trend in the next decade and could reach $1 trillion.””….Islamic finance has come a long way from its nascent state only a couple of decades ago. However, there are challenges for the industry in terms of unifying the code of common practice and addressing the scarcity of qualified Shariah scholars and experts as well as trained professionals with in-depth knowledge of the IFI specialties. This is important for sustaining the current rate of growth in the industry.”

Read the full post here

Leave a comment

Filed under Islamic Finance, World