Press Coverage

Fawad highlights three top priorities of govt


ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhary on Thursday said that the government had three top priorities: agriculture, electronics, and manufacturing of electric vehicles.

Speaking at a seminar organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), titled: “The Role of Science and Technology in the times of Covid-19”, he said that the emergence of technology had affected all the areas of traditional economy.

“This is fourth generation industrial revolution, where ideas have taken over labour and capital. The advanced countries kept parallel both the civil and defence engineering advancement,” he added.

He was of the view that investment-based health sector should be promoted and private partners should be encouraged to invest as it had a huge potential.

The minister further said that he had been a great advocate of privatisation, and wanted that the government should limit itself only to regulation.

In response to a question related to interdepartmental coordination and consensus on these areas, he said the prime minister had clustered all the ministries concerned to align their work for smooth working.

He said that we must promote local partnerships, especially in manufacturing solar panels and batteries with China.

To a question about synchronising academia with industries, he said that at least 40 universities had been tasked to adopt schools for stem education.

The Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Senator Shibli Faraz, said that despite the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan made it possible to rank Pakistan among those countries which handled the pandemic wisely, while looking at the health and livelihood of the people, and the economy of the country as a top priority.

He said that the time of Covid-19 was a very challenging time not only for Pakistan but for the whole world, but the actual challenge was to convince people to follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) effectively.

He said that special programmes had been launched to provide jobs to the labour and daily wagers during this tough time to let them meet their livelihood.

Malik Amin Aslam, the advisor to the prime minister on climate change, stressed the need to rebalance our act with nature, else the nature would react in the way, it reacted in the form of the coronavirus.

All the tension and damage pandemic has caused, he said, a very positive thing about Pakistan is that our economy is the least affected in the world, adding our country is saved in all the three dimensions including health, economy, and food security.

Looking into the overall situation of Pakistan through this conference, our country is still doing much better than many other European countries.

There is still the need to make effective policies and improve the previous one by looking into the post-Covid world needs.

The SDPI Executive Director, Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, presented recommendations of the conference, and urged the minister to consider them in policy making.

Wendy Gilmour, the Canadian High Commissioner in Pakistan, said that the donor community intervention should be evidence-based, despite the fact that data collection itself was a challenging job.

Michael Nehrbass from the USAID said that the world businesses are closed, and children are out of school, adding the USAID is helping the private sector in developing digital business.