Govt increasing S&T funds to meet 21st century challenges: Rana Tanvir

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ISLAMABAD, Oct 20 (APP): Minister for Science and Technology, Rana Tanveer Hussain Thursday said that funds have substantially been  increased in research and development domain to meet challenges of 21st century.

He said that promotion of science and technology was priority of the  government as increase in funding would yield positive results.

He stated this while attending a Stakeholder’s Consultative
Workshop on “Science, Technology & Innovation Strategy and Action Plan” organized by the Pakistan Council for Science and Technology (PCST), Ministry of Science and Technology.

The Minister emphasized that scientists in the country should
focus on inventing new market oriented technologies and the government in this regard was ready to increase funds ten times more.

The minister said that concerned departments have been
directed to ensure quality of water being supplied in the
market, adding that the companies found selling substandard products have been banned.

The same direction has been issued in cases of cooking oil and other  edible products as strict action was being taken against such producers.

He urged the scientists to prove their abilities for the
development of sector as it has been neglected since last fourteen years.

The government, he said would also promote the private sector by giving them incentive or tax free facilities.

Rana Tanvir said that the PML-N government has appointed all heads of the institutions working under ministry of science and tecnology purely on merit basis and hoped they will work hard for the progress of the sector.

The Minister applauded the efforts of the Federal Secretary
Fazal Abbas Maken for his personal interest in the preparation of this document and his guidance and inputs at each step.

He also appreciated Prof. Dr. Anwar Gilani and his team for
the hard work they have put in organizing the workshop and providing a platform to different stakeholders to be part of this wider consultative process.

Earlier, the Federal Secretary for S&T in his welcome remarks  highlighted the importance of the revision in STI Strategy.

He said that although STI can play an important role to
realize almost all the goals of the Pakistan Vision 2025; however, some of the goals particularly in the fields of energy, food security, water, and sanitation, as well as in the areas of higher education, knowledge economy, effective delivery of services to citizens, and increased exports, are impossible to achieve without direct interventions of S&T.

Prof. Dr. Anwar H. Gilani, Chairman, Pakistan Council for
Science and Technology briefed the participants with the whole revision process and touched upon the key features of National STI Strategy and Action Plan.

Pakistan Council for Science and Technology (PCST) under the direction of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST), prepared “Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy 2014-18”.

In order to harmonize the strategy with the Government’s Vision 2025, MoST has undertaken a comprehensive review of the Strategy and prepared a draft National Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Strategy and Action Plan in consultation with implementing agencies identified for different actions.

The main features of the revised STI Strategy and Action Plan include clearly defined timelines, estimation of costs,
identification of implementing agencies, milestones, deliverables and key outcomes of the proposed actions.

The ceremony was attended by a number of dignitaries including  provincial chief secretaries, federal secretaries or their representatives, head of major S&T/R&D organizations & higher  education institutions, eminent scientists, representatives of private sector/industry, civil society and other stakeholders.