Commission under consideration to sensitise policymakers about alarming population growth rate


ISLAMABAD: The government plans to formulate Population Commission of Pakistan and Population Task Force in order to sensitize policymakers about alarming population growth rate.

The task force will work under the proposed commission and objectives are to have a consolidated forum of all stakeholders for devising plan of action according to national priorities of Pakistan by adhering to religious doctrines.

These are to deliberate on population control mechanisms by effectively engaging stakeholders, develop consensus on implementation of other priority areas of population as mentioned in Vision 2025, 12th Five Year Plan (2018-23), London Summit on Family Planning 2012 and SDGs.

A document highlighting plans for next fiscal year on Thursday revealed that many historic and most important steps will be taken to tackle the Population and Family Planning situation in Pakistan. In this regard, the Provincial and Federating Units’ government will be taken on-board to achieve the desired objectives.

These include Formation of Population Commission of Pakistan which is direly needed and proposed to be formed. It will have the highest commitments from Federal and Provincial governments and all other Private Sector Stakeholders and Development Partners in matters related to Population, High Growth Rate and sustainable development.

The lead role for coordinating and overseeing the Population and Family Planning issues will rest with domain of the proposed Commission under the chairmanship of Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission and Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform will have its Secretariat and coordinating role. A comprehensive National Action Plan for Family Planning and to control the high population growth rate should be the prime task of the Commission.

The role of Planning Commission will be enhanced in population-related matters as it has the foremost capacity to coordinate with the Provinces and Special Areas and to put them on the fast track for national priorities, better implementation of the Population Welfare Programme, for achieving goals of national and international commitments.

The National Task Force for Population and Family Planning would devise Action Plan and its best implementation, tasks given by Population Commission, to achieve the desired objectives and targets of the 12th Five Year Plan and to tackle other issues from time to time. This task force will be headed by Secretary, Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform.

Meanwhile, when contacted, official sources said Population Policy has been finalized and is expected to be notified within this year. For population planning, impact-oriented approach has been adopted which would bear dividend in long run.

Ministry of Planning and Development, United Nations Fund for Population (UNFPA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have started a joint project to deal effectively population related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The objective of the UNFPA contribution is to mainstream population dynamics across core national and provincial development plans and strategies as this is consistent with Agenda 2030 and this will improve general quality of development planning.

This project will cover support in research and analysis including the impact of population growth and population dynamics on SDGs achievement in Pakistan.

This would also strengthen overall data ecosystem for SDGs and population including coordination, monitoring, reporting, capacity building, online data dissemination Population Annual Plan 2018-19 and effective use of integrated statistical frameworks for advancing sustainable development.

The sources said population sector has been accorded as a high priority sector by the government in order to control accelerated population growth rate and to improve the demographic indicators.

The Council of Common Interest (CCI) will decide about future funding and amount to be allocated to Population Welfare Programme for 2018-19. The token money of Rs. 511 million has been allocated in Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP-2018-19) to this project.

Highlighting the new initiatives, the sources said the government intends to bring reforms in population sector, so that a cross-cutting strategy is adopted and the Population Sector Organizations are revived for ensuring optimal efficiency.