The government on Tuesday unveiled plan that is aimed at reviving the country’s economy by capitalising on its untapped potential in key sectors and investments from friendly countries.
The plan, titled ‘Economic Revival Plan’, was unveiled at a high-level meeting of the government, convened in the “wake of economic hardships being confronted by the country”, a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif presided over the meeting while Chief of Army Staff Gen Asim Munir, provincial chief executives, federal and provincial ministers and senior government official were also in attendance.
According to the PMO statement, the plan for economic revival “envisages capitalising [on] Pakistan’s untapped potential in key sectors of defence production, agricultural and livestock, minerals and mining, information technology and energy, through indigenous development [and] investments from friendly countries”.
Moreover, to expedite the progress of projects, a Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) was being set up which would “act as a ‘single window’ interface for potential investors, as well as to adopt a unified approach”, the statement said.
It explained that this setup would “shorten” business process, which were “cumbersome and lengthy” until now. This would be achieved through a “cooperative and collaborative ‘whole-of-the-government-approach’ with the representation of all stakeholders”.
The SIFC, the statement said, was aimed at creating horizontal-vertical synergy between federation and provinces, facilitating timely decision making, avoiding duplication of effort and ensuring swift project implementation.
“The high-ranking participation from federal and provincial governments, clearly manifests the national resolve to turn around the economy despite all odds,” the statement read.
Speaking on the occasion, PM Shehbaz said “his government had inherited an economy which was on the brink of collapse”. But, he continued, “with bold and difficult decisions, it is now being steered towards growth and development”.
However, the PM further stated, “massive challenges” remain.
He asserted that export-oriented foreign direct investment was the key to the country’s economic revival. The government had, therefore, decided to adopt a holistic or whole-of-government approach, which fostered partnerships within the federal and provincial governments for effective implementation and execution of the SIFC, he explained.
Under this initiative, investor would be given primacy and fast-track approvals through a well-coordinated approach, he said.
He said the expected investments would create jobs and livelihoods for the youth and women. “The focus should be on empowering [the youth] and females to realise their full potential.”
Near the end of his address, he stressed the need to work together for the country.
“Let us resolve to work together, leave no stone unturned and be single-minded in our focus and direction. We can transform the destiny of Pakistan and its people,” he said, reiterating that this objective could not be achieved without hard work staying on the path of progress and development.
“Pakistan and Pakistanis deserve nothing less from those who have been bestowed the responsibility to administer the country by God and the people of Pakistan.”
In his address, the COAS Munir assured that the government had the army’s “all-out support” in its efforts regarding the economic revival plan, which he said was “considered fundamental for the socioeconomic prosperity of Pakistanis and reclaiming Pakistan’s rightful stature among the comity of nations”.