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Number of Downlaods: 9

Published Date: Dec 27, 1993

Proposed Revision to Eighth Plan Format (P-18)

Tariq Banuri, SDPI
1994

The recent changes in the world economy have coincided with a fundamental rethinking of the approach towards economic development. Included in this is the shift towards privatization, de-regulation, liberalization, and decentralization. Pakistan has taken the lead in many areas by introducing policy and institutional changes. However, the impact of these changes have not yet tricked into the planning process. As a result, planning has become divorced from policy making, which has led to a perception that it is an irrelevant and inconsequential activity.

In the Eighth Five Year Plan, it should be our intention to bring relevance and momentum back into the planning process, by making it more responsive to and more connected with the overall environment. The following pages describe how this shift could be brought about. This description includes changes needed at two different levels, structural and sectoral. The sectoral level corresponds to the conventional focus of development plans, namely to such sectors as industry, agriculture, education, health, and others.

The structural section focuses on cross-cutting areas or goals, which have the potential of determining performance of virtually every sector of the economy (industry, agriculture, health, education, etc.), and indeed of the macro economy in general. It includes such concerns as policy perspective, institutions and management, consolidation and rehabilitation, and critical cross-cutting sectors. The structural level fills the space between the two conventional focuses of development planning, namely the macroeconomic generality and the sectoral detail.

The explicit introduction of these concerns is a departure from conventional practice. At both macroeconomic and sectoral levels, the focus of earlier plans was on infrastructure. Structural concerns were either ignored or subsumed under other considerations. However, the new and emerging professional consensus is that structural concerns hold the key to better overall performance, and that should be made the explicit targets of economic policy. In other words, the objective is to give equal priority to structural and sectoral objectives.