Political stability, persistent policies imperative for growth: Ahsan iqbal

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Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Professor Ahsan Iqbal Wednesday underscored the need for political stability and continuity of economic policies to put Pakistan on a sustained growth trajectory and attain social prosperity.
Addressing the Pakistan Development Summit, the minister said, “Pakistan is blessed with all natural resources and by mobilizing these resources, we can take the country on the path of rapid economic growth and social development within a ten-year time period.”

The theme of the event was “5Es Framework Road map to a Trillion Dollar Economy by 2035,” which aimed to bring together stakeholders from industry, academia and sectoral professionals to shape the future of Pakistan’s economic growth.
About nine key thematic sessions under the topic of 5EsFramework would gather expert feedback and prepare a comprehensive plan of action to attain sustainable economic development and social prosperity.

Speaking on the occasion, the minister stressed the need to form an economic charter, besides maintaining the continuity of these economic policies to turn around the national economy. He said that peace and political stability in the country were the other prerequisite elements to put the country on a fast track to economic uplift.
Ahsan Iqbal also urged the need for an accelerated pace of economic growth and development not only to compete with the regional countries but to bring it at par with these economies.

Highlighting the significance of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Project (CPEC), the minister said, “It was a game-changer project, which will help to transform local industrial and agriculture sectors.”
He also called for mobilizing domestic resources to meet the financial requirements and reducing the reliance on borrowing.
The minister said that the income of the government was Rs7,000 billion and debt repayment was Rs8,000 billion, adding that it was borrowing 1,000 billion per annum to bridge the gap between income and expenditure.
Meanwhile, the minister said, “More than half of the country’s population does not pay the electricity bill, besides large businesses and traders are not paying their due taxes.”

He stressed the need to promote tax compliance culture to generate resources to meet expenses.
The Planning Minister also stressed the need to strengthen the foreign exchange reserve of the country to ensure the timely payments of all international commitments.
Addressing the event, Secretary Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Owais Samra said that
Pakistan was facing economic difficulties, adding that the government was following a comprehensive policy to revive the economy.
He further informed, “The Planning Commission has prepared the framework of 5Es including energy, exports, E-Pakistan, environment and equality.”

It included various short, medium and long-term projects to achieve sustainable economic development and social prosperity, he added.
“Pakistan is facing the challenges of climate change,” he said.
“The government was taking holistic measures for the mitigation of its adverse impact on the local social and economic landscape, he added.