Dr. Tahir Kamran

Dr. Tahir Kamran Authors the Fourth eEition of "The Policy Beacon" by BCPR The Beaconhouse National University (BNU) Center for Policy Research (BCPR) has proudly unveiled the fourth edition of "The Policy Beacon." Authored by Dr. Tahir Kamran, Head of the Department of Liberal Arts at the Seeta Majeed School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (SLASS), this edition is titled "Unveiling Elite Capture: A Closer Look at its Impact on Pakistan's Society and Culture." Key Highlights: Understanding Elite Capture: Elite capture, as described in the publication, is a corrupt practice wherein a small group of individuals with superior social and financial status manipulate state and public resources, leading to adverse effects on the larger population. Decision-making power is concentrated in the hands of these elites due to various factors such as social class, asset ownership, political influence, and economic position. Mechanisms of Elite Capture: The article delves into how entitled elites with de jure power divert public funds meant for the benefit of the general populace towards projects that exclusively serve their interests. Factors like information asymmetry, ineffective regulation, and inefficient allocation of resources contribute to the persistence of elite capture. Impacts on Well-being and Fairness: Areas where elite capture persists witness compromises in overall well-being and fairness. The article emphasizes how decentralized governments are susceptible to elite capture, with local governments prioritizing the interests of influential elites over the broader community’s well-being. Identification of Elites: The publication identifies three ways to identify elites: positional, decisional, and reputational. In Pakistan, the elite is described as a complex web deeply entrenched in the country’s socio-political fabric, comprising various segments with vested interests and sources of power. Pakistan's Elite Landscape: The real locus of substantive power and governance in Pakistan, as pointed out in the article, rests with a conglomerate of business magnates, industrialists, feudal lords, religious figures, and civil and military officials, working together to safeguard their political dominance and mutual interests. Economic Impacts: The economic impact of elite capture, particularly in the industrial sector, is discussed. The article highlights significant financial losses due to low tax rates and favorable pricing structures benefiting the industrial elite. Recommendations and the Way Forward: The article concludes with recommendations, emphasizing the need for fiscal reforms in Pakistan, including addressing the low tax base and regressive taxation. Strategies to combat elite capture include reconceptualizing the Charter of Economy, promoting inclusive growth, emphasizing human development, strengthening accountability and transparency, and empowering marginalized sections of society. The importance of a balanced civil-military relationship is also stressed. To read the full edition of "The Policy Beacon" and gain deeper insights into the adverse effects of elite capture on Pakistan’s economy and society, visit: Unveiling Elite Capture: A Closer Look at its Impact on Pakistan's Society and Culture About BNU Center for Policy Research (BCPR): The BCPR at Beaconhouse National University is committed to rigorous and impactful policy research, aiming to contribute to informed decision-making in Pakistan and beyond.

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