LAHORE - The Punjab government intends to further encourage public-private partnership for bringing improvement in investment climate and to achieve economic objectives of the growth strategy. For the purpose, the province plans to follow the strategies of Turkey, China and East Asian countries.

This will be worked out through public-private dialogue, enhanced awareness and ownership of government initiatives by the private investors.

This was highlighted at a high level meeting attended by Advisor to CM Dr Ijaz Nabi, Chairman P&D and other senior officers.

The Punjab government has also decided to take some other steps towards operationalization of its growth strategy. Official documents said, “The public investment will be structured crowding-in private investment.” “Businessmen will be encouraged to invest through investment climate reforms. For this purpose public-private dialogue (PPD) will be administered to encourage private investment.”

As per documents, there are six ongoing and eleven pipeline projects worth over Rs 100 billion on the public-private partnership. The projects also include 146m dollars commitments by ADB, DFID and World Bank.

“Besides creating one million jobs per annum, two million skilled graduates will be produced to reach the growth targets,” the documents highlighted.

The objectives include catalyzing GDP growth, private sector-led economic growth, employment intensive growth, export buoyancy and achieving MDGs.

A senior officer said that the government wants private sector’s double investment to get desired economic growth.

Moreover, the government will also ensure efficiency of public sector, bring policy reforms, monitoring of outcomes and capacity building of the staff. The government will also take some steps to reduce cost of doing business in the province. All the regional disparities will be addressed by focusing on lesser developed regions like south Punjab. Gender sensitive and pro-poor planning will be ensured.

In the future, Pakistan’s population is expected to grow further, mostly in Punjab, and therefore a strong strategy was required to achieve the socio-economic development targets. “Punjab faces severe challenges of urbanization so policy reforms are must to face the threats” an officer privy to the development on the issue added.

The challenge of industrialization was also discussed in the meeting.