ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning Development and Reforms, Prof, Ahsan Iqbal said on Wednesday that downslide of economy has been arrested owing to prudent economic reforms and austerity measures adopted by the government.
He stated this while meeting with Paul Robilliard, First Assistant Secretary, South and West Asia Division, Department of Foreign Affair and Trade, Australia, here Thursday.
” In order to arrest downslide of economy, government had to take swift steps in the form of cutting extra public sector expenditures, reducing subsidies, controlling corruption and increasing tax revenue.
The government has succeeded in turning the tide and inflation has been lowered to single digit”, he remarked.
In response to the query of Mr. Paul about the future plans of the government, Minister said,” We have devised a roadmap for future in the form of Vision 2025 and five year plan. Our development strategy revolves on seven priorities, which are; Human and Social development, Inclusive, sustainable, export led growth, Institutional and governance reforms, Energy-food-water security, Infrastructure development for regional connectivity, Private sector led development, and bringing competitiveness through value addition in agriculture and manufacturing sectors.”
The Minister appreciated Australian government’s assistance in human resource development and proposed a more targeted approach in light of Pakistan’s needs.
He proposed greater cooperation in water, dairy and livestock sectors, in which Pakistan can greatly learn from Australian experience.
Mr. Paul Robilliard agreed with the minister that economic reforms is a very difficult, painful and time taking process, as it destroys status quo, but definitely bring positive changes in the end.
He agreed with the Minister that AusAID will coordinate with the Ministries to award more targeted scholarships to bring high value in it for the recipient country when the Minister showed that there is a need to use scholarships for the capacity building of Finance, Planning, Agriculture, Water and Power and IT Ministries.