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 Wednesday. 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 Prime Minister stated that in wake of corona pandemic, the government was prioritizing those sectors which promised job opportunities to the youth, agriculture sector and upgradation of public health system in the country. The meeting reviewed the state of economy during current FY 2019-20 and the outlook for FY 2020-21. It was noted that the upward trajectory of economy, made possible after huge efforts of the present government, was severely affected by COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting appreciated the steps taken by the Government for the revival of the economy especially protecting the poor segments of society from the adverse impacts of lockdown. The meeting approved GDP growth target along with sectoral growth projections of agriculture, industry and services for FY 2020-21. Macroeconomic Framework for proposed Annual Plan 2020-21 was also approved by the NEC. The NEC reviewed, in detail, Public Sector Development Program for FY 2019-20 and the proposed development outlay for FY 2020-21. 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 among others enhancing the sanctioning powers of Departmental Development Working Party (DDWP) from Rs. 60 million to Rs. 2 billion, Central Development Working Party (CDWP) from Rs. 3 bn to Rs. 10bn and ECNEC above Rs. 10bn, quarterly authorizations without originating demand, real-time information on expenditures through SAP system 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 Rs. 827 billion would complete /expected to complete by 30th June, 2020. 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 Jammu & Kashmir. The NEC approved National Development Outlay 2020-21 and Federal PSDP. The meeting approved constitution of NEC Sub-Committee to provide strategic guidance, maintain oversight and ensure inter-provincial coordination on Sustainable Development Goals.
On Saturday, the Foreign Office (FO) said that the government, armed forces, and the nation stand united against any threat...Read more