NEC fixes GDP, other growth targets for next fiscal year

Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan says government is prioritizing sectors which promise job opportunities to the youth, agriculture sector and upgradation of public health system in the country. He was chairing meeting of the meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) in Islamabad today. The Prime Minister emphasized upon the need for ensuring close and seamless coordination between the federal and provincial governments during finalization and implementation of the development projects. He also underscored the need for employing technology to monitor the progress of the ongoing projects. He stressed upon the need for ensuring public participation in the development process through provision of real-time information and getting their feedback on implementation status of the projects. The Prime Minister directed that biannual meeting of the National Economic Council be ensured to review progress of Public Sector Development Programme projects. The meeting reviewed the state of economy during current fiscal year and the outlook for the upcoming one. The meeting approved GDP growth target along with sectoral growth projections of agriculture, industry and services for fiscal year 2020-21. Macroeconomic Framework for proposed Annual Plan 2020-21 was also approved. It was informed that this is the first time that PSDP includes only those projects that have already been approved by the relevant forums which is strictly in accordance with the best practices of planning. This will ensure fast implementation of the PSDP projects and optimum utilization will be ensured leading to economic growth. While reviewing the progress of PSDP 2019-20, it was noted that various initiatives taken by the Federal Government have contributed towards expediting the development process by timely implementation of critical development schemes. These initiatives include enhancing sanctioning powers of Departmental Development Working Party (DDWP) from 60 million to two billion rupees, Central Development Working Party (CDWP) from three billion to ten billion rupees and ECNEC above ten billion rupees, quarterly authorizations without originating demand, real-time information on expenditures and establishment of Public Private Partnership Authorities to facilitate involvement of private sector in complementing the development process. It was informed that 149 projects costing 827 billion rupees will likely be completed by 30th of this month. The meeting was informed that PSDP projects for FY 2020-21 are especially focusing on development of less-developed areas of the country including Balochistan, merged areas of Khyber Pakhtukhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir. The NEC approved National Development Outlay 2020-21 and Federal PSDP.