Bring realism to planning

CURRENTLY, the Planning Commission is in the process of finalising the 12th five-year plan, which according to the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Sartaj Aziz envisages sustained growth, climate change challenges, clean energy, agricultural productivity, infrastructure development and industrial revival.
The 11th five-year plan 2013-18 will complete by June this year, while the next plan is expected to be launched in July. The 11th plan was issued at a time when Pakistan was facing multiple challenges on the economic, security and development fronts, encompassed operational details of the ‘Pakistan Vision 2025’, another document issued by the Planning Commission. Before finalising the next plan, it is also time for the Planning Commission headed by Ahsan Iqbal and Deputy Chairman Sartaj Aziz to do some retrospection as to how far the 11th five-year plan remained successful in achieving its targets. Significantly enough plans either short or medium terms are always formulated but we do not see any of their impact on health of the economy and life of the people at the completion of their tenure. Had the plans been prepared keeping in view the forward-looking approach, the country today would not have been facing multiple challenges on the economic front. Today, we are living in the world of innovation, creation of products and knowledge-based economy and time warrants that our next development while setting realistic development goals envisage measures that could transform Pakistan into knowledge-based economy. The measures should include integrating science, technology and innovation into all sectors ranging from industry and agriculture to health, communications and social services. We need to mobilise our industry so that it can take part in the manufacturing and export of high technology products — something that could prove to be vital in maintaining high growth rate and address most of our economic woes. To create a knowledge-based economy, we have to invest heavily on our youth and research activities. Ahsan Iqbal having the support of economist and strategist Sartaj Aziz and all Planning Commission members indeed can come up with a concrete plan to steer the country on the path of real economic progress, self reliance and productivity.

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