Dissention amongst the top ranks of economists in the country has lead the caretaker government to call for the scrapping of the Planning Commission’s Framework for Economic Growth, in favor of the 10th Five-Year Economic Plan.
According to details, The FEG had been prepared by former Planning Commission deputy chairman Dr Nadeemul Haque, who was recently dismissed from his post by the caretaker government.
When Dr Haque became the deputy chairman, the Planning Commission had been preparing the 10th Plan for 2010-15, which he ordered shelved. In its place, he had provided his own strategies for economic development. The FEG was later approved by the National Economic Council, the country’s highest economic decision-making body. However, the FEG was never implemented and lacked broader acceptance.
10th Five-Year Plan is a draft document put together by the current finance adviser’s brother, Dr Rashid Amjad, in the latter’s capacity as acting chief economist at that time. Dr. Rashid was relieved of his duties when Dr. Haque took over as deputy chairman of the Planning Commission.
Differences between the Plan and the FEG
The main focus of the Five-Year Plan (2010-15) was on increasing investment in education and health and to improve living standards. The Plan had also promised to usher in an era of development in parts of the country that had remained underdeveloped thus far.
FEG’s strategy on the other hand was based on sustained reforms that would build an efficient and knowledgeable governance structure, and create markets in desirable and well-connected locations.
Talking to reporters, Dr Haque expressed his reservations on the said plan. He was of the opinion that the interim government should not overturn the National Economic Council’s decisions, especially when a new government is about to be formed. He said only the National Economic Council can reject the FEG, and there must be a discussion prior to such a decision.