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Aug 20, 2013| Courtesy by : Dawn.com
The government has started working on the ‘Vision 2025’ plan to upgrade and modernise almost all major sectors of national economy amid questions from some experts if such an ambitious reform is possible amid an environment of devolution and bureaucratic resistance.
Ahsan Iqbal, the Minister for Planning and Development, presented at a conference an outline of the plan covering seven key areas, some of them having cross-cutting themes across various tiers of the government structure, and invited suggestions from interest groups like the chambers of commerce and industry, think tanks, consultancy firms, corporations and universities.
He said the plan would be ready in a couple of months and could be rolled into implementation by Dec 31. The Planning Commission will hire eight members on merit through a transparent selection process so that the best minds in relevant fields may take a lead role.
Major themes of the vision include an integrated energy plan, modernisation of infrastructure, mobilisation of indigenous resources, institutional reforms and governance, value addition in production sectors, export and private sector-led growth and exploitation of social capital.
Mr Iqbal said an integrated energy model will be the first pillar of Vision 2025. Unlike the past when the sub-sectors of water, electricity and gas were disintegrated at the planning stage, the vision for these areas would be formulated on an integrated basis, he said.
The next pillar is stabilisation of the economy on a sustainable basis and the plan will focus on tapping indigenous resources while moving away from relying on exogenous resources like foreign aid and remittances. “The future of the country is in tax, investment and exports,” he added.
He associated future economic development with private sector-led growth, saying public investment alone could not boost growth due to increasing needs of investment in mega projects. He said the government would encourage commodity-based production sectors to shift to value addition for making big fortunes instead of solely depending on exports of raw products. The government will introduce separate policies for industrial and agriculture sectors. The focus will be on identifying clusters and facilitating export products.
Modernisation of infrastructure would be aimed at getting maximum benefits from the country’s geographical position, he said, adding that the China trade corridor initiative would be part of this approach.
Reforming the institutions and introducing e-governance will be another theme under which reforms will be introduced in the public sector.
The last pillar of the strategy will be building social capital to exploit its real potential.