PESHAWAR: Economic Cooperation and Development Forum (ECDF) had identified crucial measure and interventions required for economic growth of the Newly Merged Districts (NMDs) of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA). The ECDF was formed under the FATA Economic Revitalization Programme (FERP) conceived by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and funded by USAID.
The project is being implemented by Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) in collaboration with UNDP, federal and provincial departments. The Provincial Chief, SMEDA, Rashid Aman has said that recommendations for economic development of NMDs has been prepared after a marathon consultations of different thematic groups that were constituted under ECDF have identified short, medium and long term measures and then have proposed required steps to generate economic activities in the merged districts.
The experts from public and private sectors have also identified the role and responsibilities of all concerned departments stakeholders to provide them all required facilities for the purpose. A copy of the document, he said has already been presented to KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and other concerned authorities of the provincial government. He said that in light of the recommendations of ECDF, the Chief Minister has already announced a hefty economic development plan of Rs.68 billion for merged districts.
The plan, he said has nearly 21 measures and interventions and proposed the role of both public sector and donors or the capacity building of stakeholders, infrastructure development, entrepreneurship development, sector development, economic development or marketing and communication in the region.
Rashid Aman said that SMEDA along with UNDP would play its role in the economic development of merged districts, saying for this purpose, they are in the process of constant consultations with the consultant hired with the purpose to review the document of the economic development plan and bring further improvement in it.
Since last three months, he said SMEDA KP is constantly in contact with the consultant and very soon it would be first presented to Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and shared with all other concerned authorities.
The document has been prepared by mobilizing the concerned stakeholders, arranging focused group discussions related with thematic areas and prioritized sectors. The forum met on quarterly basis and proposed the desired interventions. The proposed interventions were then validated by key informant interviews followed by focused group discussion again.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021