Minister Planning, Development and Reforms anticipates higher economic growth during current fiscal

Islamabad, May 26, 2015 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Prof. Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday anticipated higher economic growth in the present fiscal compared to last seven years due to economic revival triggered successful stabilization policies of the present government.

He stated this in the opening speech at Annual Plan Coordination Committee (APCC) which met here to finalize the development outlay for the next financial year. Ahsan Iqbal briefed the participants about state of the economy and the policies introduced to put the country on economic revival path, which he said were made despite the political chaos and floods in 2014.

Minister said that after the achieving economic stability and maintaining the fiscal discipline, now the efforts are being directed towards growth of the economy and felt that this is now collective responsibility of the federal and provincial governments that we should keep this growth momentum going on. “We should not wait for miracles, we have to manufacture our prosperity through our hard work”, he believed.

Minister laid special emphasis on social sector development and drew attention of provinces towards higher allocations for education and health sectors. As social sectors are devolved after 18th amendment in this key area, now the responsibility lies on provinces to focus their energies towards this sector.

Minister said that development in all regions of the country on equal basis is the part of documented vision of the present government and it would make all out efforts in this regard. Minister extensively briefed participants about China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) and sought the support of provinces for speedy work on this key project as well as countering the misplaced controversies about this mega development project, which is a gamer changer for Pakistan and our future generations.

He termed CPEC an opportunity that might transform the country and it reflected the fact that Pakistan is now an investment-attractive destination. “This is now our responsibility that we fully utilize this opportunity for making Pakistan fast emerging economy of Asia.

He contradicted all the speculations regarding route change baseless and said that such reports have no substance and assured that Western route is the preference of government and would be completed by December 2016. Minister said that CPEC is not a name of any single road but it is a portfolio project which includes energy, infrastructure, economic zones and Gwadar Airport development.

He asked the provincial governments to identify the viable economic zones in their areas so that they can be incorporated in CPEC and said that Joint Working Group on Economic Zones is yet to be established. As soon as working group is established on economic zones, provinces will be consulted to finalize the sites.

He said, “Priority areas for 2015-16 PSDP are energy, CPEC and knowledge initiatives to turn Pakistan into a modern economy which is globally competitive and domestically inclusive. We have to maintain political stability and unity in order to harness our full potential as a growing economy.

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