ISLAMABAD: A follow-up session of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) meeting presided over by the Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Mr Shaukat Tarin, was held at the Finance Division today. The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Industries and Production Khusro Bakhtiar, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Division Omar Ayub Khan, Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser to PM on Institutional Reforms & Austerity Dr Ishrat Hussain, SAPM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar, SAPM on Power Tabish Gauhar, SAPM on Finance and Revenue Dr Waqar Masood, Governor State Bank of Pakistan Dr Reza Baqir, Mr Abid Suleri, Mr M. Ali Tabba, Dr Rashid Amjad, Mr Sultan Allana, Syed Salim Raza and many others from the private members’ category. The first session of the second meeting of the Economic Advisory Council was held on 1st June 2021.
During the second session of the second meeting of the Economic Advisory Council, which continued for four hours, four sub-groups gave their detailed presentation. The four sub-groups which presented their suggestions during the second session of the second meeting of the Economic Advisory Council included groups on Food Security, Agriculture, China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Social Protection and Information Technology & Digitalization. Federal Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam, SAPM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar and Chairman CPEC General (R) Asim Saleem Baja gave presentations on behalf of their respective groups. The presentations included in-depth analysis of the relevant sectors, current functioning and ways forward for future. All the participants gave their inputs over the presentations.
The Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam, made the first sub-group presentation on Agriculture. Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Khusroo Bakhtiyar, emphasized the need to introduce the ‘Agricultural Transformation Plan’ which the present government has prepared after extensive discussion with the relevant stakeholders and after analysing available data. The Finance Minister assured that the proposed plan would be thoroughly considered and firmed up recommendations will be part of the upcoming budget.
The subgroup on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) led by Chairman CPEC Authority gave a comprehensive presentation on the project’s progress. The group also thanked the Finance Minister as Chairman ECNEC for according approval to road connectivity projects for Balochistan Province that will significantly enhance the effectiveness of the Project. The group briefed the meeting that the projects under CPEC are being completed according to our commitment. General Asim Saleem Bajwa discussed the possibilities of investment in the special economic zones in collaboration with the regional development partners in a structured manner through short, medium and long-term strategies.
The subgroup on social security led by Ms Sania Nishtar SA PM on Social Protection briefed the meeting on the proposed plan of interventions by Ehsaas in the next year and submitted proposals for budgetary allocations. The Chair appreciated the proposals and commended the SAPM on evolving a comprehensive program for social protection and poverty alleviation.
The IT subgroup discussed their proposals to explore the potential of the sector and create an enabling environment for generating exportable surplus. The Finance Minister tasked the group to bring up proposals that facilitate local trade, enhance financial inclusion, pave the way for forming partnerships with International IT Experts and develop skills of the untrained youth. He also affirmed his support for the sector by making policy changes according to the needs of the sector.
The next follow up session would be held soon. The sub-groups on State Owned Enterprises, Energy & Industrialization and Exports will make their presentations in the concluding session.
Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin during the meeting said that fundamental objective for constitution of Economic Advisory Council is to make concrete short, medium and longterm strategies for growth and transformation of all sectors of the economy. Different sub-groups have been constituted to get concrete proposals in consultation with all sub-groups. The Finance Minister immensely appreciated the professional in-depth deliberation on the presentation during the session.
The Finance Minister further directed to make regular discussions a part of the working of the Finance Division with reference to EAC.