Political stability, continuity of policies vital for country’s progress: Ahsan Iqbal

LAHORE: Federal Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal has said that political stability and continuity of policies are vital for ensuring the country’s progress.

He said this while addressing the Econ Fest on ‘How to turn around Pakistan’ at Alhamra on Saturday.

He said that in the current circumstances of the country, there was no single leader, party or institution which could alone steer the country out of existing challenges adding that if we wanted to move forward there was a need to learn the science of collaboration.

The country needed unified solutions for its problems, he added.

He said that when he was studying at an engineering university, he got a chance and was elected as president of the students union and through this experience, he had learnt that public leadership could play a significant role in bringing social change.

He said, “public service requires passion and conviction and is a great virtue.”

He said that Pakistan could turn all dreams of youngsters into reality, but it took someone with dedication, determination and hard work.

Ahsan Iqbal said that political stability and social harmony were essential elements for ensuring progress and prosperity.

If there was a conflict in society then no policy could yield positive results, he maintained.

He said, “If we look back at the country’s history our policies always remained progressive.”

He said that Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, China, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Turkey were countries which had made speedy progress during the last 50 years.

Minister said, “a policy needs a minimum of ten years to get successful”. He said that unfortunately, Pakistan had dropped three catches, the first in the 1960s, the second in 1991 and the third in 2017 adding that during these times country could make enormous progress but it did not happen.

He said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor was a big project which had changed the country’s profile altogether but unfortunately in 2018, the government changed its policies. Chinese investment was scandalized, he added.

He said from 1947 to 2013 only 18,000 megawatts of energy were produced in the country and in four years, PML-N produced and added 11,000 megawatts of energy to the system, but unfortunately, this effort was scandalized.

Ahsan Iqbal said once, he asked Dr Abdul Qadir Khan and Dr Ashfaq Ahmad about the success behind achieving their goal.

He said both apprised him that the approach of shared vision, stability of tenure, following merit in recruitment, posting, transfer, investing in our people, and we were provided with resources all these things helped us to achieve our desired goal.”

Minister said that now it was high time that ownership of the development agenda should be given to people as this would help in the continuity of policies.

He said it was of utmost importance for the country to develop its export potential and there was a need to increase our tax-to-GDP ratio.

He said that the 5E framework had been developed to stabilise the country’s economy in the next two to three years.

Ahsan Iqbal said that the 5E framework would provide a platform for achieving set goals.

The 5E framework includes exports enterprise & employment, e-Pakistan empowering youth, environment and food security, energy affordable & efficient and equity education health population, he added.

He also responded to the questions of some participants of the Fest Econ.


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