Malnutrition in Pakistan causes $6.8 bln loss to national economy annually: Report

ISLAMABAD, Oct 17 (APP): Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal on Monday called for promoting non-traditional Small and Medium Entrepreneur (SMEs), which have potential to boost the country’s exports up to $50 billion per year.

Addressing the round-table conference on “Prioritizing growth for SMEs to achieve sustainable growth” here at the Planning Commission, the federal minister said that there was huge ethnic market potential in non tradition SMEs like marketing of handy-craft, art and craft etc, through e-commerce abroad.

“Exports are desperately needed to be promoted because exports are the principle source of strengthening country’s foreign exchange reserves which are vital for sustainable economic growth of the country,” Ahsan Iqbal said.

He said SMEs could be made the main driver of economic growth by properly focusing on this sector.

He said country consisted of majority young people and currently the annual requirement was about 1.5 million to 2 million new jobs.

“SMEs sector can play important role in creating new jobs as it has the potential to boost exports besides creating new jobs and accelerating the economic growth of the country,” he added.

He said political stability was necessary for sustainable economic growth.

“In Pakistan there is no dearth of talent or there is nothing wrong with the policies but the main problem has been inconsistency in continuity of policies,” he said.

Talking to media after the conference, Ahsan Iqbal said that the PTI Chief Imran Khan was proving good for Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) as due to his irrational steps, his party was losing popularity across the country.

He said the PTI Chief talks about corruption but his own party’s MNAs and MPAs had leveled allegation of corruption against the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.

To a question, the minister said that Pakistan People’s Party
Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was new in Pakistan’s politics and he needed time to get mature in the politics.