ISLAMABAD: The government is finalizing the poverty reduction strategy paper (PRSP)-II with the consultation of all stakeholders to steer the country on the path of sustained and broad based economic growth. This was stated by Advisor on Finance Shaukat Tarin while addressing a consultative conference with Parliamentarians on the PRSP-II here on Thursday.
Accentuating the salient features of the strategy, the Finance Advisor said the government is giving foremost priority for regaining macro economic stability and reduce poverty level through financial discipline and transparent policies. He said besides reducing inflation and current account deficit, exchange rates will be made flexible to jack up exports and reduce imports. He said after achieving economic stability, focus will be given to boost the economic growth which will ultimately help reduce the poverty.
The advisor was confident that the country would be put on the sustainable economic development during the next twenty three months. As outlined in the PRSP-II, the Finance advisor said safety nets would be provided to vulnerable groups and marginalized segments of the society. Referring to the thirty four billion rupees Benazir Income support programme, he said there are plans to increase its allocation to eighty billion rupees. Under this programme, in addition to the financial assistance, technical training programme will be started for the deserving families to help them stand on their own feet.
He said the PRSP-II attaches high priority to making the agriculture sector a profitable one in the economy. He said a holistic plan will be prepared after consultation with all the relevant stakeholders including the farmers to bolster agriculture yield. Besides the industrial sector would be expanded and promoted to diversify our exports. He said the special emphasis will be laid on the manufacturing sector to achieve the real and sustainable growth rate.
Shaukat Tarin said the government has also identified human resource development as a priority area. In this connection, the development strategy envisages massive investment in strengthening its human resource base to produce a skilled and competent workforce that can respond to the increasing demands of steadily growing economy.
To tackle the current energy crisis, Shaukat Tarin said an integrated energy plan will be evolved to exploit the hydel, coal, oil and gas potentials of the country. He said we are already in contact with foreign countries including China for the prudent and environment friendly exploitation of reserves at Thar.
He said infrastructure sector would also be developed on modern lines in collaboration with the private sector to optimize the country’s location advantage. He said reforms will also be introduced in the capitals markets to support the agriculture and industrial sector. Besides administrative reforms will be ensured to improve the quality of public spending and achieve the set targets.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Economic Affairs said that inputs of the parliamentarians will be incorporated in the PRSP-II for its better implementation and ensure that it reflects the true aspirations of the people.-SANA