PM TRACKER
JAPAN'S LOAN RESUMPTION WILL OPEN NEW VISTAS FOR DEVELOPMENT
 

Pakistan govt to adopt e-governance and a paperless environment

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From SHAMIM AHMED RIZVI,
 Islamabad

May 09 - 15, 2005
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The Conference of Pakistan Development Forum 2005 and interaction with Japanese Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi along with his delegation members were the main highlights of the Prime Minister, Shaukat Aziz's activities last week.

Apart from the two major events spread over 4 days, the Prime Minister had meetings with Malaysian Business delegation, President of Islamic Development Bank, Deputy Chiefs of World Bank and the Asian Development Bank which likely to produce results.

He also addressed a public meeting at Ludhar near Jhelum, besides meeting a group of under training government officers, meeting with Governor Balochistan and the dinner at the PM house to jubilate impressive victory of Pakistan cricket team in India recently. He also hosted a dinner for the members of National Finance Commission (NFC) who earlier had assembled for a meeting in Islamabad. He also laid the foundation stone of export display center in Islamabad.

During his two-day visit to Islamabad, the Japanese Prime Minister had fruitful talks with the President and the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The talks mainly focused on disarmament, non-proliferation and expansion of trade and economic relation. On the conclusion of the visit, Japanese ambassador in Pakistan announced the resumption of highly concessional Yen Loan Program for infrastructure development in Pakistan. "This program will indeed open new vistas for the development of this country, especially its ability to undertake large scale infrastructure development of this country, Nobuaka said.

The 25 members Malaysian delegation visiting Pakistan called on Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Tuesday. Welcoming the delegation led by the Minister for Works, Dato Seri S. Samy Vellu, the Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz expressed Pakistan's all out desire to expand bilateral cooperation with Malaysia in different fields.

He appreciated the interest being shown by Malaysia for mutual cooperation especially in the field of trade and industry and investments. The Prime Minister particularly pointed out that the Malaysian experience in the development of the housing sector would be welcomed in Pakistan. He said Pakistan had been a prominent source of manpower supply for Malaysia and their existed possibility for sending more and more people to share the rapid development activity there. In this connection, he said a Malaysian delegation led by the Home Affairs Minister is coming to Pakistan within a couple of days. The delegation will explore the possibility of increased recruitment of manpower from Pakistan. Later, addressing a news conference, the Malaysian Minister informed that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed here between Malaysia and Pakistan for the construction of yet another section of the Motorway, i.e. M-4.S

In the same context while talking to Pakistan's Minister for Labor and Manpower Prime Minister directed him to evolve an efficient and transparent procedure for selection of skilled and semi-skilled manpower for export from the country. The Prime Minister said the Pakistani workers are as good as any in the world, however, there is a need to develop and sharpen their skills with a view to making them more competitive in this age. "Being alive to this need and responsibility, the government is focusing on skill development and coming out with Vocational Training Institute in almost each and every district of the country", he added.

He said that skilled workers could really make a difference as far as manpower export is concerned. They have a competitive edge over other and they could make a mark for themselves. The training institutes, he said, could also help combat unemployment in the country.

 

 

Talking to President of Islamic Development Bank Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz appreciated the highly constructive role of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in helping Pakistan and the Muslim Ummah in the development and growth of their economics. He said that in this competitive age, the Ummah needs to equip itself not only with financial resources but also has to develop its human resources by improving the health and educational facilities besides ensuring broad-based participation in its development strategies. Appreciating the role being played by the IDB, the Prime Minister said, the bank has been a major contributor in assisting Pakistan infrastructure development. He said we look forward to further strengthening our links with the IDB.

The President of the IDB said Pakistan is a pillar of the Muslim Ummah and its economic growth during the last five years which is simply impressive and a source of strength for the Islamic world. He said he was most impressed by the achievements made by Pakistan during the last five years.

Addressing a public meeting at Ludhar in Jhelum district, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said sacrifices of the Kashmiri people will not go waste and, with the support of the people of Pakistan, they will get their rights. "We want solution of the Kashmir issue in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people," There will be no compromise on the Kashmir issue, he firmly stated.

Aziz said the government was launching many new infrastructure and development projects that would bring prosperity and raise the living standard of the people. Referring to the Rs62 billion Mangla dam raising project, he said it would enhance its water storage capacity, provide adequate water for irrigation to increase crops yield and subsequently, raise income of farmers.

At Mangla, the Prime Minister said Pakistan would accept whatever decision is given by the expert. "Pakistan and India are signatory to the Indus Water Treaty and I hope that the decision of the neutral expert will be acceptable to both the countries. He said water security was very important for Pakistan, as its agriculture heavily relied on it. He said India has not yet started work on the Kishangana project on river Jhelum in the India held Kashmir. Prime Minister Aziz was earlier, briefed about the project to raise the Mangla Dam by 30 feet at a cost of Rs62 billion.

Addressing the under-training officers of the National Institute of Public Administration from different parts of the country at the PM House, Shaukat Aziz urged the civil servants to work with commitment and said their performance should be result-oriented to help the country achieve goals of progress and prosperity. He said the government has introduced fiscal discipline and good governance to improve efficiently of the public servants. The Prime Minister said the salaries of the government servants would be enhanced in the next budget. He, however, urged the civil servants to change the culture of working from 9 to 2 pm and put in some extra hours for the country. The Prime Minister said efforts should make that every step of the civil servant should be geared to achieving results.

Talking to Governor Balochistan in PM Secretariat Islamabad Prime Minister said Balochistan is an important province and the federal government in cooperation with the provincial government is working for the progress and development of the province. He said that the government has initiated development projects amounting to Rs130 billion in Balochistan, which would open new vistas of economic prosperity. The government is attaching top priority to seeking solution of the matters pertaining to the province through dialogue, he added. The Prime Minister discussed with him the prevailing situation in the province and directed to ensure laws and order. The Governor informed the Prime Minister that law and order situation in the province including Dera Bugti and Sui was fast improving and the overall situation had improved remarkably.

Chairing the first meeting of the National E-Government at the PM House Shaukat Aziz announced that government would adopt e-governance and a paperless environment, in all ministries and departments to enhance their performance and efficiency. "Pakistan has to keep pace with international practices of the office management and decision making by improving our work culture, Prime Minister said, adding that e-governance will provide efficient access of information to the public, create more transparency and would be a quantum jump to meet the future challenges.

Talking to members of the NFC Prime Minister urged the provinces to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution on the National Finance Commission award keeping in mind the principle of give and take. He hoped that with this approach the issue of distribution of divisible past will be amicably solved between all the stakeholders.

Addressing businessmen and experts at the stone laying ceremony of the export display center in Islamabad, Prime Minister said Pakistan was on course to meet the $14 billion export target, and had the potential of $28 billion annual exports in next five years. "Countries with far less resources are way ahead of us. Let us not rest on our laurels and show that we are a serious player."

He said Pakistan had made excellent progress with the effort of the private sector and the enabling environment by the government, but pointed out that the achievements were still below the potential, the country possessed. He said the private sector in the country was very creative and innovative and added it needed to be more competitive to meet the challenges of globalization. He called for value-addition and inclusion of engineering goods in its products. Pakistan also needs to expand and penetrate new markets for its exportable goods, he said.

"If our bed linen is a good buy in the US and Europe, why not in Japan, China and other countries?" he said. The markets were rapidly changing and Pakistani exporters could benefit through diversification, reliability, quality and competitiveness of their products. The Prime Minister pointed out that Pakistan's share in world trade was minuscule, despite the richness of its enormous human resource potential. The government, he said, would continue to create an enabling environment, but it was up to the private sector to meet the challenges.