Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan today chaired meeting of the Economic Team of the Government comprising of Minister for Economic Affairs Mr. Hammad Azhar, Minister for Planning Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister for Power Mr. Omar Ayub Khan, Adviser to PM Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Adviser to PM Mr. Abdul Razzak Dawood, Adviser to PM Dr. Ishrat Hussain, SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, SAPM Mr. Nadeem Babar, SAPM Mr. Yousaf Baig Mirza and Chairman BOI Syed Zubair Haider Gillani. Mr. Shaukat Tareen, Chairman NDMA Lt. Gen Muhammad Afzal and other senior officials of the Government were also present during the meeting.
The meeting was briefed on the outcomes of the steps being taken by the present Government for sustainable growth and economic consolidation, increased productivity, ease of doing business while removing hindrances in the way of investment as well as protection to the existing and prospective investors. Other important issues discussed during the meeting included poverty alleviation, infrastructure and communication development, revitalizing and mobilizing the dead investment, disaster management and improved coordination among the concerned Ministries and divisions for smooth and timely implementation of the projects. The meeting was also briefed on the investment in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Construction sector.
The Prime Minister said that industrial development is vital for economic growth and job creation. Focus must be made on those projects that yield high productivity while removing the hindrances in the way simultaneously, he further added. The Prime Minister observed that without giving protection to the business community, economy cannot flourish; we must raise confidence of the business community for increased investment in all the sectors.
The Prime Minister directed to include all the poor strata of society under the Ehsaas programme including the chronically poor, extremely poor and marginalized poor segments of the society. The Prime Minister was also briefed about inclusion of women for balanced economic development of the country. It was emphasized that women should be given incentives and facilitation for their contribution in the socio-economic development.
SAPM on Information & Broadcasting, while citing the Malaysian Model of growth, said that empowerment of women and facilitation would contribute significantly towards socio-economic growth of Pakistan.
Chairman NDMA briefed the meeting on proposals regarding Communication and Infrastructure development, mobilization of dead investment for reaping investment benefits in the short term. The Chairman also proposed the creation of Disaster Risk Financing in the wake of frequent natural disasters and shortage of funds earmarked currently to respond in case of any eventuality.
The meeting was also briefed on the proposed lease plan of Pakistan Steel Mills and the interest shown by the Russian and Chinese companies. The Prime Minister directed the concerned to come up with a comprehensive plan regarding the proposed lease of Pakistan Steel Mills in a separate meeting at the earliest.