KARACHI - Sindh and federal governments agreed to formulate and implement Pakistan Vision-2025 and Five Year Plan (2013-18) to ensure energy security, sustainable growth and domestic governance.
Also, on the demand of PPP Sindh government, the PML-N led federal government has assured that the national development programmes will not include construction of any major water reservoir, including controversial Kala Bagh Dam, without the consent of all the provinces.
Moreover, Sindh technocrats have demanded Islamabad open the Sindh- Rajasthan route for trade with India on the pattern of Wahga trade route between the two Punjabs of the neighbouring countries. This was stated at a provincial workshop organised by Sindh Planning & Development Department for preparation of Pakistan Vision-2025 and the 11th five year plan (2013-18), held at committee room of new Sindh Secretariat here the other day.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah addressed the workshop as chief guest, while Federal Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Planning and Development Secretary Hasan Nawaz Tarar, Adviser to Sindh CM for Finance Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chief Secretary Sajad Saleem Hotiyana, Additional Chief Secretary (Development) Arif Ahmed Khan, all administrative secretaries of Sindh, heads of other private organisations and semi government organisations attended the workshop.
The provincial workshop is follow up of a consultative meeting held on November 22, 2013 and chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to formulate Pakistan Vision-2025 based on participatory and collaborative planning approach by forging partnerships of provinces, public sector, private sector, academia, media and civil societies. Addressing meeting, the PM had said that every person, irrespective of his political and ideological association, needed to share responsibility to contribute towards formulation of the national development vision.
Sindh CM Syed Qaim Ali, while addressing the workshop, stressed the need for the establishment of a developmental mechanism that ensures equal economic and social opportunities with special attention to the deprived strata of the society. He said Sindh is a rich province in terms of resources as it has treasures of oil and gas, 180 billion tonnes of coal reserves in Thar, powerful wind corridor, fertile land and raw material for industrialisation, in addition to the geographical advantages of having a sea port.
The chief minister said the province contributes 70% of total oil output to the country whereas Thar coal resource can generate electricity for 200 years for the country. He said Sindh has one of most feasible wind corridors, especially in Gharo and Keti Bunder, which spreads over 60 kilometres along the coastline. He said that the power generation capacity in this corridor is over 55,000MW. He said that even in present situation Sindh government would be able to produce 15,000MW electricity by 2025 while 325MW energy capacity would added within 2 or 3 years.
Qaim said that by virtue of indigenous resources, the solution of the energy crisis of the country lies with Sindh and by developing polices of incentivisation, foreign investment can be attracted in this area. Moreover, he said, Sindh has a very fertile land. The CM said he has invited the federal government to ensure the investment in the Thar coal, which is key to the energy security of the country. The CM also invited Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to come for inauguration of Thar coal project.
Federal Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal said there were seven main factors for preparation of Pakistan vision 2025 and 11th five year plan. He said that these factors include energy security, self reliance in growth rate, development of human resources and social development, value addition in production units, modernisation and regional connectivity of infrastructure, promotion of small and medium enterprises, and lastly democratic governance through institutional reforms.
The minister said that after 18th Amendment, provincial governments have been given more powers as such consultation and political stability is very much essential for planning and development. He said that his management has gathered the valuable suggestion and recommendation which would be incorporated in the planning. Separately, Ahsan Iqbal told media persons that PIA and other national organisation were running in deficit owing of mismanagement and bad governance, so government plans to privatise those through strategic investment.
Advisor to Sindh CM for Finance Murad Ali Shah and Additional Chief Secretary Development Arif Ahmed Khan briefed the participants of workshop about the Sindh Vision 2025 and said that provincial government believed that big water reservoir were not solution of the energy and irrigation problems. Former bureaucrat Nazar Muhammad Mahar and other technocrats suggested the federal government to allow Sindh to open its border with India’s Rajasthan as trade route on the pattern of trade routes between Pakistani and Indian Punjabs. PML-N MPA Haji Shafi Jamote and others pointed that industrial and domestic untreated waste being dumped in the sea was causing harm to the environment, ecology and marine life.