Ahsan’s important initiative

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MINISTRY of Planning and Development has reconstituted a high powered advisory committee.

Led by Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal, it will work as strategic think tank on policy issues to promote public and private interface and develop a participatory approach in decision making.

Indeed, these are difficult economic times for the country and it is very important that collective decisions are taken whilst taking on board the relevant stakeholders to take the economy in the right direction.

In fact whenever Ahsan Iqbal has been given the rein of the Ministry of Planning, he has proved his ability and capability by developing blueprints for the country’s long term economic management and planning.

Vision 2010 and 2025 are the prime examples of it, though these unfortunately could not be implemented as the succeeding governments did not give any weight to them.

We have no doubt in saying that had these plans been implemented, the country today would have not fallen into the debt.

We regrettably focused more on year to year goals setting or in other words macroeconomic stabilization and failed to link policies with long-term plans. It is really time to learn from our past mistakes before it is too late.

It is a matter of satisfaction that ever since coming to power, the government has taken several key initiatives to bring the country on the path of development, despite limited resources and disaster caused by the floods.

Apart from reconstitution of the advisory committee, the champions of Reforms Project was launched a few days back to involve Pakistani experts at home and abroad to voluntarily contribute to the development process.

As part of the Turnaround Pakistan plan, the Planning Ministry is also expected to unveil soon a comprehensive long-term developing strategy based on 5 Es e.g.exports, e-Pakistan, equity, energy and environment.

It is also set to release Pakistan Outlook 2035 report which seeks to set target for the country in multiple sectors of the economy.

All these are important steps in the right direction for sustainable growth and development but it must also be ensured that these do not meet the fate of Vision 2010 and 2025.

All parties including those on the streets should also be taken on board to give political ownership to them.

When it comes to economy and development, the parties need to demonstrate more flexibility and maturity in their conduct and rise above their petty political interests.

Policies and projects envisioned by any government should be taken forward by the succeeding one without creating any roadblocks in their way.

Continuity is a must if we really want to strengthen the economy and take it towards self reliance.