Islamabad-In what could be a significant step towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and national development agenda in Pakistan, lawmakers 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 organised by Institute of Social and Policy Sciences (I-SAPS) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ). 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 continuous efforts by the legislators for achieving SDGs. He stressed that it is high time to recognise 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, and delays in fund release are the biggest challenges in achieving SDGs.

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 Rs7.66 billion to the national development. According to I-SAPS recent study, 77 percent of the private sector organisations and corporate entities are willing to collaborate with government. Twenty three percent of these organisations are even willing to make financial contributions. Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians senior leader Syed Naveed Qamar and Nafeesa Shah emphasised 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. 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. 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.