ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) has conducted first comprehensive household survey in the FATA region covering the development indicators gauged in the rest of the country.

This was disclosed in the 10th meeting of Senate PIDE held here Thursday. Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal, while presiding over the meeting, said that our goal is to transform Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) into a leading think tank in the fields of development and economics.

Ahsan Iqbal said that PIDE is economic think tank of the government therefore it must align its research agenda with national development goals. “It should build linkages with international community of scholars and produce cutting edge research for the country and our region,” he added. He further added that PIDE must build strong links with economic research institutes of Afghanistan to forge strong economic partnership.

Meeting was informed that PIDE has helped BISP in analyzing census data and giving reports on population dynamics, poverty, education, youth employment, disability and housing.

Meeting was also briefed about different regional linkage projects which PIDE has recently started including CPEC research centre of excellence, ECO regional trade and growth model and AGM on CPEC to generate policy relevant research.

Ahsan Iqbal said that over 17 acres land has been acquired for a new campus and soon PIDE will have a state-of-the-art campus. He emphasized the need to prioritize research and added that incentives of researchers should be aligned with best practices of leading global research institutes. Minister urged to develop units for innovation, competitiveness and SME sectors and economic security studies at PIDE.

Ahsan Iqbal suggested that PIDE should work closely with research centres of provincial governments as after 18th amendment provinces have become major players in economic policy. He directed to ensure that only those researchers should get promotion who produce quality research papers.

He said that HEC has been given task to immediately devise an action plan to ensure the young scholars returning to the country after completion of PhD are offered appropriate positions especially in our existing universities to enable them to contribute in the economic development of the country.

Federal minister suggested that PIDE should focus on programme in business economics as it enjoys competitive advantage in this area. He emphasized the need for evidence based policy making to ensure maximum impact of public investment.