Development plan aimed to promote economic growth: Ahsan

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ISLAMABAD, May 30 (APP): Federal Minister for Planning,
Development and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal said Monday that the development plan for the fiscal year 2016 17 had been devised to promote economic growth in the next financial year.

Addressing the National Economic Council (NEC), the
highest decision making body to take economic decisions, the Minister said that 4.7 per cent growth rate during the current fiscal year was the highest during the last 8 years.

He said that as many as Rs 1.675 trillion project
financing has been earmarked under the Public Sector
Development Programme (PSDP) for the year 2016 17 which included Rs.800 billion federal PSDP and Rs.875 billion as provincial development funds.

He said that the planning commission had to face
difficulties in making the PSDP as provinces had suggested
projects worth Rs.1800 billion.

However, the government had to set priorities and
approved funds in accordance with its available budget.
Ahsan Iqbal informed the NEC meeting that as many as 610
PSDP projects with collective cost of Rs 774 billion were
completed during the past three years.

He further said that China Pakistan Economic
Corridor (CPEC) project was the priority of the government as operationalization of the project was to be made during 2017.

He said that three sectors were the main focus of the
government including energy, infrastructure road and rail
network and human resource, adding that record allocations
have been earmarked for the Higher Education Commission to promote education across the country.

The minister said that government envisaged establishing
university campuses in each district to facilitate the
students at their door steps.

Professionalism has been brought in the
planning commission and the ministry has saved as many as
Rs.570 billion by rationalizing the development projects, he said.

Speaking on the occasion Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq
Dar said that PSDP funding have been increased from Rs.348
billion to Rs.700 billion during the past three years which would further be enhanced to Rs.800 billion in the forthcoming budget to propel economic growth on sustainable basis, for job creation, poverty alleviation and socio economic development. The government has also increased the development expenditures by over 14 percent, he added.

Ishaq Dar thanked Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif
for approving all items on the agenda of the NEC.

He assured the prime minister that his economic team
would work hard in accordance to his vision of a prosperous
Pakistan.

“Entire nation is praying for your good health, early
recovery and safe return to Pakistan”, Ishaq Dar informed the prime minister.