Ahsan Iqbal for making sustained economic efforts

LAHORE: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal on Saturday expressed the need for making sustained economic efforts for making Pakistan one of the fastest growing economies.Addressing a press conference, he said final approval of the Vision 2025 had been given which would be implemented in this budget. He said aim of the Vision 2025 was to align us with future challenges and opportunities. Ahsan Iqbal said seven things had been focused in the vision which include water, energy and food security, economic revival with a focus on mobilising indigenous resources, development of human and social capital, infrastructure development, value addition of economy and the agriculture sector, institutional reforms and bringing reforms for improving security to ensure sustainable development and promote the private sector. He said a handsome amount had been allocated for improvement of the social sector, adding that the federal government had earmarked Rs 12.5 billion so the Millennium Development Goals could be achieved quickly. He said, “Today our exports stand at $25 billion and and till 2025 we want to increase it to $ 150 billion.” A movement in this regard would be launched at national level so all sectors could set their targets in making it possible. Ahsan Iqbal said good amount had been allocated in the budget to deal with challenges related to energy, water and food. As Rs 260 billion had been allocated for energy projects in a development budget of Rs 525 billion, he added. He said Rs 191 billion had been allocated for improvement of transport network out of which Rs 112 billion would be used for highways and Rs 39 billion for uplift of railways.He said an amount had been allocated for setting up of a cancer hospital in Islamabad, which would later be established in all provinces to ensure the best health treatment facilities to patients. Higher Education Commission had been given Rs 20 billion, which was the highest development fund in the history, he added.Ahsan Iqbal said under Science Farming Scheme 500 brilliant students of science would get education from school level to Ph.D. He said these students after completing their education would play a significant role in progress and development of the country.Rs 100 million had been allocated for National games while funds had been earmarked for setting up National syllabus council. He said a package had been given for upgrading the potential of the Gwadar Port to develop it like the Dubai and Hong Kong ports. Responding a question, he said there was a need to make sustained economic efforts for rapid development. He said those sitting in London knew they could not come to power through elections process. During this year with the provision of Rs 50 billion the purchase of land for Diamer-Bhasha Dam would be completed, he added.

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