Ahsan seeks professionals’ pro-active role for socio-economic uplift

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Zubair Qureshi

Federal Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiatives, Prof Ahsan Iqbal on Wednesday formally launched a novel initiative to engage professionals and to make full use of their talent in the task of nation-building, social development and economic growth.

The initiative called Champions of Reforms (CORs), is in fact, a network to bring together professionals from different sectors to contribute towards the socio-economic development of the country.

A number of officials of the Planning Ministry and well-known professionals from diverse backgrounds attended the COR launching ceremony.

“The key objective of the initiative is to engage the professionals who can help the government in policy making and its implementation,” said Ahsan Iqbal, while inaugurating the CORs, an initiative of the Planning Ministry.

The minister further said that the real competence lies outside the government and it must be utilized for the socio-economic development of the country.

This is the right platform for those who possess skills to come forward and play their constructive role in national development, he added.

Member Governance Innovation and Reform at the Ministry of Planning Commission, Dr Adnan Rafiq said that there was dire need to make policy making processes inclusive, citizen centric, demand-driven and transparent.

The aim of the initiative is to tap into consolidated knowledge and expertise in the private sector by obtaining critical feedback and advice from professionals, remarked Dr. Adnan. It is noted that since the government came into power in April last year, a number of key initiatives have been taken to bring the country on the path of development despite constrained resources.

The initiatives include the development of 20 poorest districts of Pakistan through Rs 40 billion, PM youth Initiatives, revival of laptops scheme to students, Governance Innovation Lab and several infrastructure projects.

Ahsan Iqbal further added that the Planning Ministry was already working on the “Outlook 2035” in which future projections will be made for the future needs of the country.

The ‘Outlook 2035’ will set the target for the country in multiple sectors, achieving political stability and continuity of policy. Prof Iqbal also highlighted the key initiatives which were identified by the ministry under 5Es which includes exports, E-Pakistan, equity, energy and environments.

The export is a key driver for the development of any country and Pakistan must adopt a policy of export-led model which remained missing from the government’s policy, remarked the Minister. The PML-N government in its last tenure provided one million laptops to the students of the country as a result Pakistan created the third largest freelance community in the world.

Member Social Sector, Rafiullah Kakar said that this is a unique opportunity for professionals to participate in pre Central Development Working Party CWDP meetings, pitching projects ideas and participation in stakeholder consultation. During the long hour meeting, the participants from various fields exchanged their ideas and appreciated the steps taken by the Planning Commission.