WEB DESK: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar announced on Tuesday that the government would overcome load-shedding by March 2018 subsequent to addition of 10,600 MW in the system.
Speaking at a seminar on economic development and national cohesion jointly organised by South Korean Embassy and Institute of Policy Reforms, Dar said “we would have more than adequate electricity by 2018”. He added that the government also plans to add another 14000 MW to the system beyond 2018.
The Finance Minister said “We are looking for future needs and not only for our tenure” and suggested that all the political parties must be looking for its future requirements and not only for their own tenures. Dar said the government manifesto is to work on security situation, energy, health and education as well as environment. “We are moving ahead on our manifesto and results are beginning to show up,” finance minister further stated.
The Finance Minister also emphasised “it is misconception that foreign exchange reserves are built by International Monetary Fund (IMF) money and said that Pakistan was proceeding to have its own sound growth agenda. However, he added that there can be no effective FDI inflows as long as challenges of security situation, energy and foreign exchange reserves would continue to persist.”
He said that now all three challenges are being addressed and there are clear sings of improvement, international rating agencies have also improved Pakistan rating. “But we need to work hard because country can not be satisfied at this stage,” Dar said, adding that this must apply to all the political parties and that was the precise reason for him to insist that all political parties should agree on a “charter of the economy” to ensure continuity of economic policies.
The Minister expressed gratitude to government and people of the Republic of Korea for their continued and long standing economic support which is contributing greatly in Pakistan’s economic development. He mentioned that the 2015-2017 Economic Development Co-operation Fund Framework Agreement amounting to US $500 million was signed on October, 2 2015 and various projects in hydropower, road infrastructure, agriculture, improvement of power distribution system, information technology and health sector will be completed under the framework.
The minister said that sustainable development and growth can only be achieved by higher education, continuous professional development and motivation to work with equal and just opportunities and system of reward for all. All these factors contribute to create a fair, just and equitable society for all leading to social cohesion. This is proven by the Korean experience, the Minister added
Former Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Hafeez Pasha said there is a 40 percent real time decline in credit to the industry and agriculture. He said small man is completely ignored in Pakistan and strongly emphasised for democracy of inclusive variety with three important component including strong tiers of functional local government, effective regulatory framework to prevent monopoly and extremely strong transparency and accountability. Pasha said the 1970s and 1990s were eras of moderate growth and poverty reduction because strong growth of agriculture sector.
He further stated the Musharraf government can be blamed for increased disparity as Balochistan and rural Sindh were ignored. That is why, democracy of inclusiveness is imperative for national cohesion. He further said that it is unfortunate in Pakistan that phenomenal growth rate was witnessed during the authoritarian governments but they failed in inclusiveness, which resulted in inequalities. During Musharraf’s era, industrial growth was phenomenal but agriculture was neglected.
Source: Business Recorder