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1- 5-YEAR PLAN IN THE OFFING
2- SITE ON VERTICAL GROWTH
3- WHEAT PRODUCTIVITY IN THE COUNTRY
4- LIVESTOCK SECTOR IN PAKISTAN
5- THE INCREASING TRADE DEFICIT

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5-YEAR PLAN IN THE OFFING

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The focus of the new plan would be enhancing the value-addition of existing traditional industries

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By AMANULLAH BASHAR

July 19 - 25, 2004
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A new 5-year plan, with a different vision aiming at technology driven development within the given resources, is being prepared for sustainable social-economic growth in the country.

The Planning Commission has already initiated preparations for formulate the 5-year plan which would be effective from July 1, 2005. This plan would have the provision to cover the remainder of the on-going 10-year perspective plan period.

Unfortunately, a culture of shortcuts developed among the political forces especially the ruling parties has severally eroded the concept of long term planning in our society. Those in power want to reap immediate fruit of their policies to have optimum political gains while they are in power. This shortsightedness in approach of the ruling forces consequently damaged concept of taking pains for future and sowing a crop to be harvested by the coming generations.

For instance, there exists a strong opposition on the construction of dams aimed at augmenting the water resources to cater to the needs of the coming generations for water and electricity. The plan for development of big dams was mainly opposed on political considerations by different active forces in the country.

There was a need to talk with solid reasons about the problems confronted to the national. An analytical study would reveal that the population growth rate which continues to impair the benefits of the economic growth would ultimately lead to a formidable situation for the generations to come if correctives steps were not taken well in time.

On the guidelines of the National Economic Council, the new 5-year plan has a focus on centralized planning but not with a centralized control. The centralized planning was essentially important because of potential entrepreneurs need to know in which fields and areas of the economy their investment would be feasible in terms of infrastructure and outcome. However, the size of the plan, which is stipulated from July 1, 2005 to June 2011, has yet to be decided by the Planning Commission. The size of the plan would be determined after detailed studies of the potential of the existing industrial skills and the requirements of the new technologies that may be identified by experts as being viable in the given circumstances of the country.

 

 

PRIVATE SECTOR

The plan would however have great emphasis on the involvement of the private sector both in the formulation and fulfillment of its financial requirements. More than 30 Committees comprising of functionaries of various Ministries and institutions and experts from the private sector have been constituted. These committees would submit their reports and recommendations on their respective spheres within three months. The plan document would be presented to the National Economic Council in its pre-budget meeting next year.

The focus of the new plan would be enhancing the value-addition of existing traditional industries. In this respect, various areas in the cottage industry so far neglected would taken into consideration for value addition such as Bangle Manufacturing industry of Hyderabad, cutlery, surgical instruments and sports goods in Sialkot and the metallurgical industries of Gujranwala.

Another salient feature of the new plan is to focus recycling of wealth among the areas capable regenerating positive results with a single line objective of poverty alleviation from the country. The targets of the new plan are to enhance GDP growth rate to a level of 10 percent next five years.

Of course the most pivotal factor in the plan would be education and training to upgrade human skills and standardize products through an elaborate infrastructure for imparting technical education and vocational training to the people at grass root level. The leading role in the forthcoming plan would be revolve around the people which means the real importance will be given on human resource development, because the real engine of growth in any economy are the people alone.

The forthcoming five-year plan, which could be technically as the 10th plan, would be a complete economic road map of the country providing vital information about the resources of each area.

According to informed sources, the plan would strongly recommend development different industries close to the sources of raw material. For example, units of petro-chemical industries would be allowed close to the oil or gas fields, power generating units within the vicinity of coal fields, industrial units related to iron oar, copper, precious stones and raw material close to the mines which would not only save transportation expenditures on one hand but would also help development of rural and country side economy so far neglected in our society.

It is imperative to provide a legal cover to the priorities of the long term plans so that any administrative or governmental change make no disruption on the continuity of the plan in the future. The continuation of the policies was of vital importance from confidence building of the investors. Before giving a final shape to the long term plans, it also seems pertinent to have develop a consensus among all the stake holders including active political forces so that there was no opposition to the national priorities once agreed by all stake holders. Obviously, the prime stakeholders are the people as the people hence policy makers have to protect the interests of the people while preparing or formulating policies for the social, economic or political development of this country.