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PR No. 175 Islamabad: December 17, 2015

Federal Minister Planning, Development & Reform Ahsan Iqbal declared 2016 as the year of Productivity, Quality and Innovation. He said that Pakistan needs average 7-8 percent growth rate in next ten years for sustained economic growth to create job opportunities for the growing youth population of the country. We need to maximize growth through productivity gains which is critical to attain competitive edge in the world. Vision-2025 envisages the competitive and knowledge based economy by creating conducive environment for it. Ahsan Iqbal expressed these views while speaking at 31st Annual General Meeting and Conference on “Vision-2025: Effective Strategies for Transformational Growth” organized by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics. Ahsan Iqbal on this occasion provided exhaustive overview of the growth patterns followed in the past and those being executed n present regime. He maintained this is right time to shift the focus from exogenous factors to internal drivers of growth emphasizing on resource mobilization, investment and exports.  The growth patterns of the past were non-participatory, which led to regional disparity and social inequality in country, resultantly we had to pay heavy cost in terms of its physical dismemberment and giving birth to socialist tendencies in the society. He noted that Vision-2025, formulated after extensive consultation with the relevant stakeholders and experts of various domains. Vision 2015 addresses all significant areas through an ecosystem aided by seven pillars and grounded on five enablers. Minister particularly laid emphasis on human resource development and informed that the present government is investing heavily in education, health and social sector to repair the fractured social platform due to the ill-conceived policies of the past regimes especially martial laws governments, which diverted the funds from social sector to security related fields. Minister said that political stability, social harmony, continuation and consistency in policies are key ingredients for sustainable economic growth, which have now luckily taken roots in the country after peaceful transfer of power from one elected government to other and the continuity in the policies. Federal Minister Planning & Development also spoke on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is fate-changer project not only for the people of Pakistan but the whole region consisting of three billion people. Minister urged that CPEC should not be politicized because it would benefit all the provinces and regions of the country. It would create a transformational impact on whole of region and even India would realize one day that CPEC offers it the shortest route to trade with China. About the economic recovery country made in last two and half years, Ahsan Iqbal said that it is being recognized by the world media, which termed  Pakistan the “new emerging success story” in 2015 in sharp contrast to image of the country being the “most dangerous place in the world” in 2013. Minister hoped that energy shortage would be addressed greatly when 10,000 MGW would be added in the system by 2018 along with upgrading the transmission and distribution system to withstand the increased power generation. Ahsan Iqbal declared that ground breaking of Diamar-Bhasha Dam would take place next year to ensure energy and water security. On Sustained Development Goals (SDGs) Ahsan Iqbal said that government is committed to achieve SDGs by considering them as national development goals. Minister called for working harder, better and smarter to take Pakistan among top twenty five economies of the world by 2025.

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