Iqbal proposes forum to discuss private sector issues

Ministry of Planning has a plan for strategic initiatives, reforms called 5Es

Usman Hanif December 02, 2022


Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Strategic Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal has said that his ministry will constitute a forum to discuss the issues of the private sector.

Speaking at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Iqbal stated that he is “presenting an institutional solution for private sector companies by making a forum that would meet with people in business every two months to discuss and solve their issues and remove any hurdles”. The Ministry of Planning, Development and Strategic Initiatives has already made a plan for strategic initiatives and reforms called 5Es.

“This would help promote exports; equity in education, health and population; energy – affordable and efficient sources; environment – food security; and e-Pakistan – to empower youth,” he elaborated.

“The government has a $100 billion target for exports and for that we will make sure all of these five Es are implemented,” Iqbal said.

The minister emphasised on the need for consistency of policies and reducing the cost of doing business. According to the World Bank, Pakistan is among the countries where businesses incur one of the highest costs of doing business.

“The government will have to formulate a plan of action to ensure that we achieve the future export target,” he added.

“For progress and development in the country, we need political consistency. For example, if we look at our neighbour India, both BJP and Congress have implemented long-term strategies. A policy begins to bear results in at least 10 years,” Iqbal noted.

“In 2013, after returning to power, we had to start afresh and took on board all the political parties.”

“Accordingly, we devised Vision 2025 to bring Pakistan into the fold of growing and progressive economies. In three to four years, we accomplished projects worth $29 billion and installed 4,000 megawatt electricity generation projects and built 2,000 km of motorways,” he added.

Pakistan at that time turned into a safe haven for Chinese investment, from a so-called safe-haven for terrorists, Iqbal stated. Later on, however, there was a change in the government. “Our policies were rolled back, including progress on CPEC projects. Chinese investors were blamed for corruption and lending expensive loans to Pakistan that discouraged them and they went back,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 2nd, 2022.

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