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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar has said that the foundation to build the national economy has been laid by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

Addressing a seminar titled “The PIDE Reform Agenda for Accelerated and Sustained Growth,” here on Thursday at Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), he while stressing the need for an equitable and sustainable economic growth said that to benefit all the segments of the economy and across the country zigzag economic growth model is not of any use but equitable growth is needed.

He said it is important to ensure equitable development of all the areas. Similarly, the growth can be made sustainable by effectively dealing with the issue of climate change.

While criticizing the former government, Umar said that the former ruling party only focused on GDP growth but not on equitable economic growth, saying the natural gas resources of Dera Bugti were supplied to Punjab and Sindh especially urban areas, brought economic developments in the cities but it didn’t bring any economic development for the people of Dera Bugti.

He said that when a country like Pakistan is facing huge budget deficit and current accounts deficit no economic growth is possible under such a situation as economic growth should be equitable and sustainable. Giving the example of high GDP growth of 1960s he said that at the time GDP was rapidly growing but benefits were limited to certain areas or districts and large part of the country could not get benefit from it.

He also said that economic growth in certain regions or areas creates sense of deprivation in other parts of the country as limited GDP growth of 1960s was resulted in disintegration of the country in 1971, therefore to strengthen the country equitable and sustainable growth was necessary not only GDP growth.

He said that to meet the country’s financial requirements the government hugely borrowed from international lenders as the country was facing $20 billion dollars current account deficit but now it has become surplus which has created significant room for the sustainable economic growth.

Vice Chancellor PIDE Dr Nadeemul Haq speaking on the occasion said that to facilitate youth of the country Pakistan needs around 8 percent economic growth but not zigzag economic growth. Sustainable and equitable growth is required.

He said in past 4 years Pakistan in each decade went to international lenders for loans but it didn’t work. He added that PIDE was seeking to develop a viable economic model, therefore it has started reform agenda strategy to find suitable plans for economic growth model for the country. He said that Pakistan was still following old economic development model while modern world has shifted to latest models.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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