Lahore  - “Economic development is directly linked to research and technology; therefore special attention is being given to strengthen research institutions,” Federal Minister for Science & Technology Rana Tanvir Hussain said on Saturday.

Speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI), he said the budget for research & development in Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) was being increased from Rs 65 million to Rs 250 million.

LCCI Senior Vice President Almas Haider, Vice President Nasir Saeed, PCSIR Chairman Dr Shahzad Alam, LCCI Executive Committee Members Amjad Ali Jawa, Mian Abdul Razzaq, Mian Zahid Javed and representatives of trade and industry were present on the occasion.

The minister said that all resources were being utilised to promote research culture in the country so the dream of joining the club of technologically advanced nations could come true.

He regretted that low allocations for the vital sectors like science and technology had kept the country dependent on developed world despite the fact that country had no dearth of resources.

Tanvir claimed that special attention was being given to need-based and result-oriented research, which would save valuable time and money.

The minister further said that innovation was key to economic competitiveness and research institutions. “Researchers will have to come forward to bridge the gaps in the current scenario by developing world-class technologies,” he stressed.

He added there was a close link between science & technology and industry; therefore interaction was being enhanced with the chambers of commerce & industry of the country for the purpose.

Tanvir informed the participants that a Common Facility Center had been established at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce & Industry, which would provide one window facility to the businessmen.

He said that 16 organisations were working under the ministry. 

“The system is being made efficient and result-oriented, while all appointments are being made on merit to achieve the growth target,” the minister claimed.

LCCI Senior Vice President Almas Haider said on the occasion that Ministry of Science & Technology held a special place, as it was responsible for maintaining the culture of applied and academic research and development in the country.

“Technology commercialisation, setting standards for quality control, accreditation, education and effective linkages between industry and academia are some of the key functions of the ministry,” he said.

However, he argued the performance indicators of all the organizations, working under the ministry, needed to match with the requirements of modern era.

PCSIR Chairman Dr Shahzad Alam said that basic objective of the organisation was to facilitate the local industry.

He said that PCSIR had developed close linkages with the industrial sector, and was providing maximum cooperation in the larger interest of the economy.

Shahzad further said that although the organisation had faced financial problems in the past; now the situation is quite different.

He said that PCSIR had offered 139 scientifically advanced products to the industry, while also offering around 62 low cost laboratory equipment.

He informed the participants that PCSIR was also helping the defence sector by providing necessary inputs.