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Dawn Islamabad

Published Date: Dec 11, 2013

2014 declared production year

The government has declared 2014 as the ‘Year for Production and
Quality’ to boost economic performance of the country, Minister for
Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal said on Tuesday.

Mr Iqbal was speaking at the inaugural session of the 16th
Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) organised by the Sustainable
Development Policy Institute (SDPI). The conference brought together
policy and practice communities to interact and recommend workable
solutions to emerging challenges in South Asia.

The development minister shared the ‘Vision 2025’ plan in detail and
stressed that its implementation will usher true development in
Pakistan.

He further emphasised the need for regional cooperation in South Asia.

SDPI executive director Dr. Abid Suleri said that inaction on part of
member states of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
(Saarc) has accelerated development challenges for each country
individually as well as collectively.

There is need for urgent action to jointly ponder and implement
interventions in favor of the suffering masses of South Asia, he opined.

Speaking on the future outlook of Pakistan’s economy, former finance
minister Hafiz Pasha said that the country is "perilously poised at the
knife-edge".

He said that a number of economic challenges are due to non-economic
factors, including terrorism, rising load-shedding, insurgency in
Balochistan, and rise in sectarian violence.

"Given Pakistan’s poor balance of payments position there is a need
to cut back on non-essential imports. Corruptive tax exemptions and
concessions should be withdrawn for a much needed increase in the
Tax-GDP ratio," he added.

In the panel on Reforms of Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in
Pakistan, former deputy chairman Planning Commission of Pakistan
Nadeemul Haque said that accelerating development progress and achieving
the goal of inclusive growth in Pakistan requires research-based
policies.