5-year development plan to be finalized in December: Ahsan Iqbal

Jul 22, 2013| Courtesy by : Associated Press of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, July 20 (APP): Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal on Saturday said the government was working on a five-year plan (2013-18) to put the country on fast track of economic development, which would be finalized in December this year.The minister was briefing media men about the Prime Minister’s decisions,including approval of a plan to restructure the Planning Commission of Pakistan.Ahsan said work on the development plan development would be assessed on monthly basis and a report in this regard would be sent to the Prime Minister.He said seven important themes were being targeted in the five-year development plan.


The themes were energy for all, value addition in productive sector, developing modern infrastructure, initiating institutional and governance reforms for high performance, building social capital, making private sector the driver of growth and building new pillars for self-reliance and high sustainable growth.
The minister said the government was also preparing a long-term perspectiveplan ‘Pakistan 2025’ in order to include the country among the fast growing countries of the region.
Ahsan Iqbal said that the government’s main goal was to make Pakistan a developed country by 2047.
He said the Planning Commission would be restructured and made a development think-tank for creating a globally competitive knowledgeable economy in the country.
“The Ministry of Planning and Development will be renamed as the Ministry of Planning and Development Reforms to underscore the agenda of reforms in economic areas and public sector management”, he added.
He said the Planning Commission had done no proper work during last 14 years.
He said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government in 1999 made an integrated roadmap for the country’s development by 2010. By implementing the roadmap we had to fullfil the country’s energy needs, which were estimated to be 28000 MW. But after the 1999 military coup, General Pervez Musharraf’s government had abandoned the plan.”
Ahsan said that the 9/11 incident, a lot of foreign aid came to the country and home remittances also went up. Electricity infrastructure was expanded and new industries were built. But nobody focussed on taking steps to increase the power supply. The power generation is limited while the demand is grwoing,
resultantly the country is now facing the worst energy crisis, he added.
He said the financial and administrative infrastructures in the country did not match the requirements of modern day.
He said during the last 10 years, the prime minister attended only one meeting of the Planning Commission.
He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was taking personal interest and had decided to chair the commission’s meetings twice a year. It would help the commission play an active role for the development of the country.
Replying to a question, he said in order to make the role of Planning Commission more effective, three posts of members had been created, one of them would be hired from the private sector.
He said at present one all the members seats except one were vacant and in order to recruit these members, an advertisement would be published in press. He assured that the recruitment process would be transparent and totally on merit.
Answering another question, Ahsan said he would meet with his Chinese counterpart in the first meeting regarding Pak-China economic corridor next month.

(Courtesy: Associated Press of Pakistan)