Friday, September 08, 2023
ISLAMABAD: In a bid to chart a long-term economic direction, interim Prime Minister Anwaarul-Haq Kakar has instructed the Ministry of Planning to develop a comprehensive five-year plan and national economic agenda, The News reported Friday.
The planning ministry has been tasked with a dual mandate. First, to constitute various working groups responsible for crafting the next five-year plan spanning from 2023-24 to the fiscal year 2028-29; and second, to draft a national economic agenda aimed at rejuvenating the national economy over the long term.
As part of the framework, the planning ministry has been assigned the vital role of harmonising and consolidating a range of initiatives such as the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Green Pakistan, Vision 2035 and the 5Es (Exports, Environment and Climate Change, Equity, and Empowerment Framework).
This document will be incorporated into the overarching five-year plan. Additionally, the ministry has also been asked to devise a strategy to bolster Gwadar's connectivity and eliminate obstacles to improving its infrastructure, underscoring the government's commitment to promoting economic growth and development.
The Gwadar connectivity is very important as the Planning Commission’s Central Development Working Party (CDWP) is also scheduled to take up for the third time the revised cost of Gwadar International Airport with a cost of Rs60 billion.
Meanwhile, talking to a delegation of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) at the PM House, the premier said consultations were underway for the promotion of trade with neighbouring countries.
PM Kakar also spoke about an operation launched across the country, especially in border areas, to prevent smuggling. He said the crackdowns on smuggling carried out during the last 48 hours had yielded positive results, adding that the neighbouring countries had welcomed Pakistan’s action against smuggling.
Addressing the capital's business community, Kakar said their problems were among the foremost priorities of the government.
He recognised that despite the current economic situation, the business community was playing an important role in economic development and in the provision of employment opportunities.
The prime minister added the government was ensuring reforms in the tax system for its digitalisation, while improvements in the power sector have also been expedited. The premier warned of effective action against those involved in power pilferage.
The PM said consultations with all stakeholders were important to address the problems being faced by the country.
“There can’t be any improvement in the country’s economic conditions unless there is an increase in tax collection,” he observed.