Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani said that macro-economic stability has been achieved by the prudent economic management and decisive action by the government.
Chairing the annual meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) here at the PM Secretariat, Prime Minister Gilani said that there was a broad based revival in the economy and was projected to post GDP growth of over 4 per cent this year.
He said that both fiscal deficit and inflation has been brought under control. Taking stock of the overall economic situation and development agenda for the next fiscal year, the Prime Minister said nothing was more important for the government than the people of Pakistan.
Gilani said that development agenda must directly benefit common man and should be broad-based, all inclusive, across the board, and focus on the needs of poor and vulnerable in the society.
The prime minister said that during the out going fiscal year, the country was confronted with multiple, economic and non-economic, internal and external challenges.
He said that the economy had to weather global financial crunch, deep recession and a fall in export volumes.
He observed that domestically, adverse security environment, energy shortages and infrastructure constraints imposed a heavy cost on the economy which beset the economy with serious fiscal imbalances threatening its macro-economic stability.
He said that during the out-going fiscal year the government addressed some structural issues like NFC Award, payment of nethydel profits and oil and gas royalties, provincial autonomy underthe 18th Constitutional Amendment, Balochistan Package and Gilgit-Baltistan reforms package.
He said now the stage was set for the economy to resume its march forward. He stressed that economic sector planning for the next fiscal year must, therefore, consolidate and accelerate the growth process while maintaining macro-economic stability.
The prime minister said that since the provinces have been empowered financially and administratively, therefore, the provincial governments should now take on additional responsibilities for development on account of receiving the additional fiscal resources.
He asked the provincial governments to define and pursue their own development agendas by using this additional space with responsibility to maximize gains to the people.
In the context of new NFC Award and the 18th constitutional amendment, he urged the provinces to build the requisite administrative capacities to better plan and implement their development programs.
He observed that both the federal and the provincialgovernments would need to work in unison to eliminate duplication of efforts causing resource wastage.
The prime minister cautioned that resource constraints would continue to persist until the domestic revenue was substantially increased. He advised the finance and the provincial governments to look for new ideas for resource mobilization and also to focus on efficiency gains.
He said that the objectives of the annual plan for the nextyear were to direct resources to overcome energy and watershortages, and to invest in people to provide them better health and education. The prime minister called for pursuing a policy of re-directing expenditures to less developed areas of Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and especially Balochistan, AJK, Gilgit-Baltistan and FATA.
He urged to accelerate development in these areas to address their sense of deprivation and bring them at par with other parts of the country.
The prime minister reiterated that provision of relief to the poor and common man was number one priority of the government. He said that poor will be at the heart of development process as they have the first right on state resources.
He expressed his resolve to provide access to health, education, sanitation, water, housing and other social services to the children of the poor people.
"This is exactly what our agenda is, and this is what we will pursue," Gilani said.
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