LAHORE: The Punjab Planning and Development Department (P&D) has released the “The Punjab Economic Report 2017” here on Monday.
The report reveals that the development of the energy, health, education and infrastructure sectors in Punjab. It also highlights the challenges and way forward for the economic growth of the country.
Punjab Finance Minister Dr Ayesha Ghous Pasha was the chief guest on the occasion, whereas, the P&D Provincial Minister Nadeem Kamran, Environment Minister Begum Zakya Shahnawaz, Population Minister Mukhtar Ahmed Bhart, Mines and Mineral Minister Sher Ali, Chief Secretary Captain Zahid Syed, senior economist Dr Hafeez Pasha, P&D Chairman Jahanzeb Khan, P&D Secretary Iftikhar Ali Sahoo, Dr Turab Hussai, Dr Ejaz Nabi, Director PERI, Dr Mumtaz Anwar, World Bank Country Director Patchamuthu Illangovan, government officers and representatives from the academia were also present at the ceremony.
While addressing the ceremony, Dr Ayesha Ghous said that “Punjab needs to harness opportunities and not shy away from any challenges”.
Dr Ayesha was of the view that this report would be beneficial for devising strategic development goals. She explained how the province was making progress in achieving the targeted growth rate through improving energy generation, fuel mix, and the security situation. She also highlighted the growth strategy framework under which 2 million youth would be provided with adequate education and skills to ensure their employability.
P&D Provincial Minister Malik Nadeem Kamran, while appreciating the efforts of the P&D and PERI on the completion of the report, highlighted the Punjab government’s commitment to economic prosperity. He stressed that economic growth must be pro-poor therefore every effort should be made to optimally utilize the limited financial resources purely for the welfare of the underprivileged segment of the society.
Dr Hafiz Pasha stated that Punjab was on track to achieve a growth rate of 6% by the end of the year which would be the highest growth rate in eleven years. He said that Punjab had shown a growth rate of 5% in major crops in the years 2016-17, which was the highest in the last ten years.
Earlier, P&D Chairman Muhammad Jahanzeb Khan acknowledged the efforts of PERI that worked closely with the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) for preparing the report. He said that the 7th NFC award has shifted the fiscal balance in favour of the provinces and the 18th amendment has given constitutional rights to the provinces to focus on human development within their domain.
In addition to providing an assessment of the Punjab Growth Chart (PGS) 2018, the report also provides an assessment of the opportunities available to the province in terms of CPEC.
LUMS senior representative Dr Turab Hussain presented the key highlights of the PER 2017. He thanked PERI, P&D and the LUMS team for their efforts. He highlighted that the report was a compendium of the work done in all sectors over the last ten years.
The report presented an overview of the economy regarding the socio-economic profile (poverty, inequality, regional disparities), structure (agriculture, industry, services), social sector (health, education), infrastructure and urban development, IT, provincial investment in energy, and public-sector resource management.