ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning Development and Reform Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar has said that the 12th Five Year Plan envisaged an average growth of GDP at 5.4 percent and the expected outlay of the Plan would be Rs 11.750 trillion including Rs 1 trillion involving innovative financing through a public-private partnership.
He said the plan extensively covered growth, macro stability, expand agriculture production, galvanize agro-business potential, industry and export competitiveness, human resource development, integrated energy planning, infrastructure development, social safety nets, poverty reduction, achieving SDGs and administrative reforms along-with focus on less developed areas, climate change and environment.
The Minister was chairing a briefing to Economic Advisory Council on draft 12th Five Year Plan here on Friday.
Advisor to PM on Commerce & Industry Abdul Razzak Dawood, members Economic Advisory Council, Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan, Secretary BISP Ali Raza Bhutta, Chief Economist Ejaz Wasti, Members Planning Commission and senior officials of all sections of the ministry were present during the briefing.
Makhdum Khusro said that it has been decided to conduct quarterly reviews of the plan at the Ministry and bi-annual reviews will be made by the Prime Minister for its effective implementation in achieving all the set targets.
He stated that priority will be given to projects related to infrastructure development, transport, housing, communication, energy, and water sector.
The Minister said that development strategy also entails boosting the country’s exports as well as envisages a mechanism to monitor the progress of ongoing projects.
He added that the Plan aims at improving the productivity of all sectors of the economy. He said that the Government was committed to ensuring timely completion of all ongoing projects without any cost escalation.
Makhdum Khusro appreciated the macroeconomic framework prepared by the Planning Commission.
Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan said that Plan document has been prepared through an extensive consultative process involving dialogue with stakeholders, formal consultation with the members of different working groups formulated for different sectors.
So far, more than thirty sessions have been held with stakeholders for preparing the draft of the next Plan. He apprised that after taking the inputs and suggestions from the members of the Economic Advisory Council, the Plan will be placed before the National Economic Council for consideration and approval.
Financing facility for special persons
KARACHI: SBP has issued a concessionary small enterprise financing and credit guarantee facility for the special persons.
SBP Governor announced this special facility in the 7th meeting of National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs held at State Bank Building here on Tuesday. Members of the Standing Committee and senior executives of State Bank were present on the occasion, said a SBP statement.
“Realizing the vulnerability of persons with disabilities in the country and cost associated with their exclusion for the economy, SBP in-line with its priority sector development has devised a scheme for special persons”, said Tariq Bajwa.
This financing facility is expected to improve access to finance for special persons falling under small enterprises category at a concessional rate of 5% per annum. Under the scheme, banks and DFIs will provide financing facilities to special persons for establishing new business enterprises or for expansion of existing businesses.
State Bank of Pakistan will provide refinance to banks/ DFIs up to 100 percent of finance extended by them. Special persons can avail financing up to Rs 1.5 million for a maximum period of 5 years including a grace period of six months.
SBP will also provide risk coverage of 60 percent to banks/DFIs on their outstanding loans under the scheme. This financing facility has been issued with the main objective of improving the socio-economic life of special persons in Pakistan.
Promoting religious tourism in Pakistan!
ISLAMABAD: South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Director General for South Asia and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Dr. Mohammad Faisal Tuesday said the government was making all-out efforts to promote tourism sector, especially religious one in the country.
Speaking at a seminar “Heritage Diplomacy; A Gadget for Religious Peace, organized by Regional Rapport here at National Library, He said Pakistan had many sacred religious sites and these sites had potential to attract foreign tourists.
He said Pakistan always welcomed religious tourism and facilitated foreign visitors. Since coming into power, the present government was making efforts to promote tourism, especially religious tourism of Pakistan, he added. To realize the potential of tourism, the government had taken a number of steps including liberalization of the visa regime and developing tourism infrastructure.
He said the opening of Kartarpur Corridor was the single most important milestone, unprecedented in the history of South Asia.
He expressed the hope that this project would materialize soon and pilgrims from across the border would be able to visit the holy site. “We must learn to coexist and cherish diversity,” he added.
Various governments had undertaken a number of steps whereby heritage diplomacy and culture had been promoted, he said and added in 2018, the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting had announced the first ever film and culture policy of the country.
Under the policy, the focus had been shifted to building cultural infrastructure in the country, promotion of visual and performing arts, promotion of music and other arts, development and preservation of book and culture as well as archeological places, he added.
Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) Director General Jamal Shah, in his presentation, highlighted the importance of cultural heritage in the country.
He said cultural heritage creates awareness and plays a crucial role in the promotion of peace.
Center for Culture and Development Executive Director Dr. Nadeem Omer, in his paper titled “Heritage as Soft Power”, highlighted various aspects of the heritage.
He appreciated the organizer of the event, saying that such events would create awareness for understanding the importance of cultural heritage.
Folklorist, Scholar, and Founder of Lok Virsa Dr. Uxi Mufti, in his paper, highlighted the intangible heritage in a modern perspective.
He said intangible heritage should be preserved and promoted to achieve the benefits of rich heritage.
Earlier, Regional Rapport Executive Director Almas Haider Naqvi welcomed the guests in the programme.
Chairman of Industries Research Cell Rauf Azad Kakepoto and a large number of people from different walks of life also attended the event.
‘Look Africa Campaign’ to augment trade with Africa!
ISLAMABAD: The Trade Development Authority has initiated ‘Look Africa Campaign ‘for increasing trade and investment ties with the African region.
“Look Africa Campaign” would play a pivotal role for bridging the trade gap between Pakistan and African region and provide a platform for enhancing the contact between the business communities of both sides, a senior official of TDAP told the Media here today.
He said that Pakistan can promote trade with African countries in different sectors including textiles items, surgical and sports goods and agro- products for increasing exports.
Replying to a question, he said that we were working on the global value chain for promoting the demanded product in the international market to enhance the trade volume of the country.
He added that Pakistan ranks 107 out of 140 economies in the Global Competitiveness Index, which needs to be improved for economic stability and growth.
He said that for expansion of the trade infrastructure in the country, we were setting up expos centers at Islamabad, Quetta, Peshawar and other cities of the country.
He said that TDAP was planning to invite trade delegation and quarantine officers for rice from Mexico, meat regulation from China, Russia, and Mauritius and Indonesia and fisheries inspector from the USA for sharing the mutual expertise.