PDF kick-starts today after three-year hiatus


ISLAMABAD: The federal government will present its stabilisation and reconstruction plans, while the provincial governments will submit their respective development agendas to the development partners at the Pakistan Development Forum (PDF) today (Sunday).
The two-day session is being held under the theme of “Reform Agenda-Road to Sustainable Economic Development”. Being held after a gap of three years, the PDF will begin with a presentation on the provincial development agenda by the government of Punjab, followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Sindh, Azad Jammu Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.
The presentations will help address concerns of the country’s development partners on the proper utilisation of additional resources to the provinces after the National Finance Commission Award and the 18th Amendment. Donors have been expressing concerns on ability of the provinces to properly and transparently utilise additional resources.
The federal government will then give a presentation on the country’s economic performance and development needs to the international lenders. The meeting will set the stage for bilateral, as well as multilateral, funding arrangements and loan commitments.
Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh had stated at the curtain launching ceremony of the PDF that some donors, not interested in providing assistance to Pakistan, were using the pretext of the lack of transparency to defame the country.
The US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke, UK Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell, Vice President of World Bank Isabel M Guerrero, Vice President of Asian Development Bank Xiaoyu Zhao, Assistant Director International Monetary Fund Adnan Mazarei and Japanese Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Makiko Kikuta will participate in the forum.
During the second session, NDMA Chairman Lt Gen (r) Nadeem Ahmed will brief participants on relief, early recovery and disaster risk reduction, while the ADB and WB representatives will present the Damage and Needs Assessment. NADRA Chairman Ali Arshad Hakeem will brief the moot on the citizens’ damage compensation mechanism, while the Planning Division Secretary Ashraf Hayat will brief the PDF on the institutional framework for reconstruction.
The third session will be on the government’s vision to protect the poor. Special Assistant to PM on Social Sector Shahnaz Wazir Ali will provide an overview of the social sector, while BISP Chairperson Farzana Raja will brief the moot on progress on the income support project.
Minister of State for Economic Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar will address the third session on aid effectiveness. WB Country Director Rachid Benmessaoud, UNDP Assistant Secretary General Jordan Ryan and European Commission Director for Asia James Moran will also address the conference.