ISLAMABAD: Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Minister Asad Umar said on Wednesday that the government was formulating a three-year growth strategy, wherein the country’s economy would be uplifted through institutional and structural reforms.
The minister was addressing a round-table discussion on “The role of Planning and Development in Pakistan’s Economy” at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI).
Umar said despite structural changes in Pakistan’s economy, the role of the government in general and planning ministry in particular remained relevant.
Highlighting the importance of a planned economy, he said during the 1960s, the gulf countries were wallowing in poverty despite having immense oil resources, and it was only after the leading role played by the Gulf regimes that their economic situation improved.
China’s growth and economic success is another case in point for the planned economy, the minister said.
During the decade of 1950s and 1960s, Pakistan’s economy was developing due to its planned nature, he said, adding although much had changed since then, the need for a planned economy with due input from the private sector stayed primate.
Umar remarked that Prime Minister Imran Khan had chaired several meetings to bring down the prices of gas and electricity, while in future the prices were likely to further go down. “This would help reduce the input cost for our industries,” he added.
To a question about the effect of the 18th Constitutional Amendment on Pakistan’s economy, Umar said the 18th amendment was absolutely essential for a polity like Pakistan, and does not have any negative impacts on the country’s economy.
The government is working on making Council of Common Interests (CCI)’s Secretariat effective and operational to smoothly resolve differences, the minister told the gathering.