The government economic team has entrusted technical teams from Economic Affairs Division, Planning Commission and the World Bank to chalk out a road-map for simplifying the structure of existing approval process of the development portfolio while identifying the specific areas of interventions and decisions and report back to the forum in a month.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and attended by Minister for Economic Affairs Mr. Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr. Ishrat Hussain and senior officials of State Bank of Pakistan, the Controller General of Accounts, Finance Division, PD&R and EAD.

The meeting was given a joint presentation by the Economic Affairs Division and the World Bank on different options to simplify the structure of existing approval processes of the development portfolio in order to shorten the project conception timeframe while also ensuring presence of required funds, availability of project staff and timely procurements.

The initiative aims to bring implementation preparedness to a new level besides incorporating capacity at implementation level to conceive and prepare project pipeline in line with the annual and medium term government frameworks, upfront preparation of safeguards and procurement documents and appointment of relevant staff so that implementation can start immediately upon approvals and signing of loan agreements.

The government intends to digitize the whole planning process to speed-up decision making leading towards timely implementation of projects.

It was decided that technical teams of the World Bank, Planning Commission and Economic Affairs Division would chalk out a road map while identifying the specific areas of interventions and decisions and report back to the forum in three to four weeks time.