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.
Iqbal 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 was briefing the media about the steps undertaken by the ministry. The minister 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.
The Planning Commission, Iqbal said, will act as a think-tank for creating a globally competitive knowledge-driven economy in the country.
The minister said that after the 9/11 incident, a lot of foreign aid came to the country and remittances also went up, providing an opportunity for Pakistan to invest in infrastructure. Electricity infrastructure was expanded and new industries were built. However no one in the government focussed on taking steps to increase the power supply.
Power generation is limited while the demand is growing, resultantly the country is now facing the worst energy crisis as demand outstripped supply rapidly, he added.
He said the financial and administrative infrastructures in the country did not match the requirements of modern day.
Iqbal said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was taking personal interest in the activities of the commission and had decided to chair the commission’s meetings twice a year.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2013.
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