ISLAMABAD, Jan 29 (APP):Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar has said that the government will accord priority to equal development of all areas of the country as part of national development strategy.

He stated that regional equalization development strategy aims at bringing underdeveloped areas of the country at par with the developed ones.
The Minister was addressing a session on ‘Development Priorities for Pakistan’ organized by United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) and Planning Commission here at Islamabad on Tuesday.
The Minister stated that the Government will address regional disparities through regional equalization and intermediate cities development. He said that measures are afoot to revive the national economy and the Government has taken initiatives by announcing incentives to promote trade and industry with particular focus on SME sector.
Khusro Bakhtyar said that agriculture sector presents huge potential which will be tapped optimally to achieve higher economic growth by developing this vital area.
He underlined the need for harnessing the vast reservoirs of natural resources and minerals to spur economic and trade activity. The Minister said that population planning, reaping potential demographic dividend, and ensuring equal gender participation will contribute to sustained economic growth.
The Minister underscored that emphasis on poverty reduction and socio-economic development top the agenda of the Government and it is committed to extend the outreach of social safety nets to improve standard of living for marginalized segments of society.
He highlighted that the present Government is establishing Poverty Alleviation Coordination Council to have a robust framework and synergize the efforts of various organizations for poverty alleviation. The Minister also appreciated UNDP support for socio-economic development and in realization of global agenda of SDGs.
Dr Hafiz Pasha, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Chairperson BISP, Dr Sania Nishtar and Mr Neil Buhne, UN Resident Coordinator also spoke on the occasion.