Socio-economic roadmap


It makes good sense that the Planning Commission has finally decided to initiate a study on the country’s future development needs and reset its policy targets in the light of the rapidly changing global dynamics and newer conflicts, plaguing the already strained international relations more than at any other period since the World War Two.
The new study, Pakistan Outlook 2035, will be done on the basis of the previous 2025 vision, which focused on seven priority areas including developing human and social capital, achieving sustained, indigenous and inclusive growth, democratic governance, institutional reform and modernization of the public sector.
According to a report of this newspaper, the previous study, which was unveiled in 2014, also prioritized energy, water and food security, which in the current global scenario have attained the highest importance. Besides, the previous vision also underscored the importance of developing the private sector and promoting entrepreneurship-led growth, in addition to modernizing transportation infrastructure and greater regional connectivity to keep pace with the developed countries in the region and elsewhere.
It has yet to be seen whether or not our governments have done justice to achieve those policy goals, what is more important is if the needs of the vulnerable communities have really been taken into account to cater to their needs and mitigate their sufferings.
As put by Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, the study would act as a prelude to developing Pakistan’s Vision 2035 and Vision 2047.
Notwithstanding the targets of the previous study, we have seen that development, may it be on human resource side or natural resources exploitation, has find its way to only those pockets in the country, where the powerful leaders wanted it, irrespective of the actual public need or government’s priority area. Development over the years has become more a political gimmick than a will for human development to steer the country out of the crises arising from all directions with a greater pace and intensity.
The minister has rightly emphasized that country’s economy required structural changes and a new export led growth paradigm, which can understandably be achieved only by following consistent policy choices. That the Pakistan Outlook 2035 will help us understand where we are standing at present and where are we headed if we do business as usual a decade and a half later. Only indulging in blame game would not do the needful. Confrontational politics have already done the damage. Political stability and continuity of policies can only bring about the much needed economic turnaround and usher in greater prosperity and economic stability for the nation.