TurnAround Pakistan — Lets rise again
MINISTRY of Planning and Development, headed by Professor Ahsan Iqbal, organized TurnAround Pakistan Conference at Jinnah Convention Center, Islamabad, in which stakeholders from public, private, NGOs and SMEs sectors participated from Pakistan and across the globe.
The theme of the conference was Let’s Rise Again. Why and who felt the need that the nation must rise again, the reply is obvious that is the one and only Federal Minister for Planning and Development Professor Ahsan Iqbal who has actively been working for betterment and prosperous Pakistan since 1997-1998.
Top leadership of PML-N and coalition parties including PPP has always supported Ahsan Iqbal’s ideas and planning whether it is his Vision 2020 or 2030.
In his inaugural speech to the TurnAround Pakistan Conference, Professor Ahsan Iqbal rightly said that had Vision 2020 implemented the country would have been in top 25 economies of the world.
Setting aside the past misries, he has again presented Vision 2030 which envisages Pakistan’s entry in G-20 countries.
The conference was organized in different sessions including speeches of leading personalities from public, private and non-governmental organizations, group discussions and at the end interaction of Planning Minister and Secretaries with the participants.
After group discussions, the participants shared ideas and findings of their projects with the Minister for Planning and Development who gave on spot instructions to the concerned authorities for implementation of the participants’ projects.
Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif in his key note address expressed the resolve to take the country towards economic stability in the next fourteen months.
He, however stressed this is linked with political stability. The Prime Minister said we will have to rise above personal interests and take such long-term decisions which change destiny of the country.
Shehbaz Sharif further said our ultimate goal is to achieve self-reliance as it only guarantees to independently take political and economic decisions.
The Prime Minister said the country is faced with difficult challenges and situation, but it is our utmost effort to collectively steer the country out of crisis.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif asked participants of the conference to give suggestions for uplifting agriculture and agro-based industries and bolstering of exports besides that do away with obstacles in the way of businesses and investment.
He said we want to end red-tapism and the culture of NOCs within a month.
I would like to say that red-tapism, NOCs, SROs and Directives have halted progress, prosperity, planning and development of the country.
Pakistan can achieve self-reliance by pursuing the path of bringing structural reforms and bolstering exports by promoting the industrial and agriculture sectors.
Over the period, our import bill is at higher side and less exports. That is why, our import bill should be replaced by export bill.
Keeping in view the current price hike and particularly wheat and energy crisis faced by the world community due to Ukraine war, it is need of the hour that we engage the youth and get benefit from their ideas as well bring our people closer and take them on board while making policies.
In this regard, we should uplift less privileged class so that they after becoming part of mainstream can contribute in national economy.
For instance, population of gypsies in Pakistan is about 22.5 million which is about two percent of total population of the country.
Condition of gypsies is pathetic to the extent that they are still shelterless, landless, illiterate and spending their life on the patron of centuries-old gypsies.
Pakistan, being an Islamic Republic, safeguards rights of every citizen, but unfortunately the gypsies are still ignorant about their religion.
There is a need to own and accommodate on state land which is called as shamlat Deh in villages.
The Shamlat Deh is meant for welfare of less privileged class. Gypsies can be accommodated in villages across the country.
Although the Gypsies are labourers and contributing in national economy particularly in agriculture, transport and industrial sectors.
At the end, I must conclude with the opinion that we have to focus on producing skilled manpower.
Lebanon is the country which has no resources of income like agriculture, mining and petroleum, but it (Lebanon) is among better growth countries and its secret is that Lebanon produces skilled manpower like doctors, engineers and other professionals who send remittance to their country from abroad.
The present government has extended medical and engineering institutions at district level across the country that deserves appreciation and hopefully it will help earn foreign exchange in the shape of remittances in future.
Undoubtedly, future of Pakistan is very bright and always learnt from difficult times of earthquake, flood, Corona, etc while supporting each other shunning differences of sect, caste, creed, colour and area.
—The writer is contributing columnist, based in Islamabad.