ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari has said that implementation and continuity of policies and women participation was vital to economic development of the country. “If the independent power policy of the 90s had not been reversed, Pakistan today would not only have been self sufficient in power but also an energy exporting country. We have lost hundreds of billions due to lost Industrial production as a result of power shortage because of policy reversal”.
The President said this during a meeting with the Task Force on private sector development in the Presidency on Saturday. The President said that the government was keen to develop public private partnership to encourage growth of public sector as an engine of development.
The Government is following a strategy for the development of private sector in the country that is directed to help the Government define its strategic thrust and to address the constraints which restrict growth and competitiveness of the private sector in the country, the President said. These policies are aimed at utilizing untapped potential of the private sector in the country.
He said that half of the country’s population was below 17 years age that could be turned into a vehicle of growth by engaging them in fruitful economic development activities through appropriate policy framework. Unemployed youth with high expectations could also be potentially destabilizing, he warned.
He said that in the future the role of the public sector will be that of a catalyst for creating and maintaining a favorable business climate and developing skilled labour force and the private sector will have to assume greater importance in development in the current global environment.
The President also emphasized that the technology of optimum use of irrigation water was available and asked the Task Force to make recommendations on how best to integrate the available technologies. Earlier the Chairman of the Task Force Mr. Shahid Javed Burki gave a presentation on the objectives of the Task Force.
Briefing the meeting, the Chairman said that in order to help private sector increase its productivity and efficiency to be able to become more competitive and contribute fully towards promoting national economic growth, the Task Force is pursuing an action plan for generating business opportunities for the private sector through enhancing its accessibility to undertake public sector services like water, energy, transport, and communications, and participate in privatization program, besides trade promotion, industrial development, agro-based industry, and increased access to finances and to new financial instruments.
The meeting was attended among others by Mr. Khalil Ahmad, Ambassador at Large, Mr. Muhammad Zia ur Rehman, Secretary Food & Agriculture, Mr. Ashraf M. Hayat, Secretary Planning & Development, Mr. Shahab Anwar Khawaja, Secretary Industries & Production, Mr. Ahmed Jawad, Secretary Privatization, Mr. Tariq Iqbal Puri, Secretary Investment Mr. Salim Ghauri, Member Chairman/CEO, NETSOL Pvt Ltd, Dr. Pervez Hasan, Member Former Chief Economist, World Bank and Mr. Asad Omar, Member CEO, Engro Chemical Pak Ltd. The President asked the Task Force to expedite the recommendations for the consideration of the government.-SANA