LAHORE: Science and Technology Minister Mir Changez Khan Jamali has reiterated his commitment to expediting work on the Pakistan Halal Product Development Board.
“Certain technical issues have led to delays in issuing a notification for the establishment of the board but I have directed the additional secretary of the science and technology ministry to meet members of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry and sort it out,” Jamali said during his visit to the LCCI on Monday.
He said that the low budget allocations for vital sectors such as science and technology were regrettable. “In the coming budget, allocations will increase. In 2015, it will be one per cent of Gross Domestic Product and by 2020, it will be increased to two to three per cent,” he said, adding that this disproportionate spending was keeping Pakistan dependent on developed countries despite having no dearth of resources.
Terming innovation the key to economic competitiveness, he called upon research institutions and researchers to address gaps in the current scenario by developing world-class technologies.
Talking about exhibitions, he said that science and technology expose provide a marketplace to showcase technological innovations, products, projects, services and solutions. “They enable industrial experts and researchers from across the country to identify joint objectives, activities and initiatives and focus on problems with the sector.”
LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that Pakistan was yet to be placed in the innovation index because of low-end production of cheap goods and inefficient energy consumption ratio. “In view of the current resource constraints, there is a need to utilise existing resources optimally through reorganising the research and development infrastructure and moving towards a knowledge economy,” he said.
Sheikh said that the country desperately needs to work towards stimulating and managing the flow of knowledge and technology among universities and R&D institutes. Stressing on the need to establish technology parks in Pakistan, he said that it was unfortunate that this concept had not gained much popularity in Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2012.
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