ISLAMABAD -  Set to unveil in December this year, a five-year development plan in which the energy sector will be given a higher priority is being formulated by the government.
Resolution of ongoing power shortfall will be the top-most priority of the government in this development plan, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal told a news conference here.
The five-year plan would have seven themes: energy for all, value addition in production sector, developing modern infrastructure, initiating institutional and governance reforms for high performance, building social capital, making private sector the driver of growth and building new pillars for self-reliance and high sustainable growth.
The minister stated apart from the plan, the government had also been working on a long-term programme – Pakistan 2015 – aimed at bringing the country among other growing countries. He however regretted successive governments in the past 14 years lacked a roadmap for development of the country.
Iqbal maintained the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government had framed a roadmap in 1999 that could have generated 2800-megawatt electricity by 2010, but Pervez Musharraf's government abandoned it after the coup d’état.
The minister informed newsmen the incumbent government would revive the planning commission which, according to him, could play a vital role in development of the country. He noted with dismay the planning commission did not do anything in the past. He added the government was recruiting chief executives in all the departments in a transparent manner.
Iqbal also said the government had decided to rename the Ministry of Planning and Development as the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms. "The planning commission will restructure to become a development think-tank to take the country to path of transformational change in the filed of development planning for creating globally competitive knowledge economy," he added.
The minister said new members of the planning commission would be appointed on merit through open competition from the market – both national and international. He however observed the planning commission could not perform effectively as an apex economic planning body and public policy think-tank due to lack of focus and adjustment to new realities and challenges.
Iqbal said the commission would comprise the members; member (energy), member (implementation and monitoring), member (private sector development and competitiveness), member (Cooordination), member (food security and climate change), member (science and technology ICT) member (development Communication, member (infrastructure & regional connectivity), member (social sectors and devolution) member (governance, innovation and reforms and member (research/vc PIDE).
The minister further said during the last 10 years, the prime minister attended only one meeting of the planning commission. He added Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was taking personal interest in the matter and had decided to chair commission's meetings twice a year that would help the commission play an active role for development of the country.