Govt formulating new framework for economic growth: Gilani

Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Thursday said the government is formulating a new economic framework to put Pakistan on a trajectory of sustainable economic growth and development. In this connection, he added, the government is going to take its coalition partners and opposition into confidence for introducing a consensual long term national economic strategy.He observed that any new strategy can only be successful if it is backed by a broad-based consensus.The Prime Minister elaborated this while talking to a British delegation led by Professor Alan Winter, Chief Economist for the UK Department for International Development at his chamber in the Parliament House.

The government’s strategy is aimed at increasing private and public sector productivity as well as strengthening of governance. The Prime Minister said a new economic growth framework envisaging market reforms, improving urban management, and engaging youth and community will be worked out to make the growth strategy sustainable as well as inclusive. In this connection, he added, academia, civil society organizations and media will be engaged to collect feedback and develop a wider ownership of economic growth strategy. The Prime Minister said Pakistan’s economic indicators are encouraging. He mentioned that Pakistan’s exports, foreign remittances and foreign currency reserves are increasing which is a positive indicator of economic growth. He said the government is trying to diversify its exports.

He further said the government has already decided to restructure the public sector corporations to make these loss earning enterprises into a viable and profit earning entities. He added that administrative reforms are also being introduced in revenue collection system. Consultation with the coalition partners and opposition are underway to reform the tax system for enhancing revenue, he further said. Thanking the British government for financial assistance, the Prime Minister appreciated routing of the funds through Government system. He said UK is a major economic partner of Pakistan. He mentioned that Pakistan particularly appreciates UK’s assistance through budgetary support for poverty reduction and efforts to achieve targets of Millennium Development Goals and capacity building. He also welcomed the British government’s move to enhance the financial assistance to Pakistan.

Professor Alan Winter thanked the Prime Minister for his time and observed that the long term growth strategy hinges upon structural reforms. He appreciated the government’s efforts to introduce a new economic growth framework enjoying broad-based consensus to meet the challenges confronting the country. He agreed that only the innovative economic approach can put Pakistan on accelerated growth path and any delay in this context can compound and multiply the economic difficulties. He assured the Prime Minister of technical support in accomplishing the task of formulating an economic growth strategy. – App