ISLAMABAD: The meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC), chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, approved the National Development Outlay 2019-20 amounting to Rs1.837 trillion, including the federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) and provincial Annual Development Plans (ADPs).

The meeting, which was held at the PM Office, reviewed the Annual Plan 2018-19 and the proposed Annual Plan 2019-20. It approved a GDP growth target of 4pc along with a sectoral growth of agriculture (3.5pc) industry (2.2pc) and services sector (4.8pc) for the financial year 2019-20.

The meeting also reviewed the draft 12th Five Year Plan (2018-23). It was informed that the said plan would focus primarily on balanced and equitable regional development; sustainable, inclusive, job-creating and export-led growth; resource mobilization and good governance; social protection; food and water security; connectivity enhancement; promotion of knowledge economy; and initiatives like ‘Clean and Green Pakistan’.

Approving the 12th Five Year Plan (2018-23) in principle, the NEC decided that the plan would further be fine-tuned, especially its implementation mechanism, in consultation with all stakeholders.

The meeting reviewed the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2018-19 and the proposed PSDP 2019-20.

It was informed that PSDP 2019-20 focuses on new initiatives in the field of agriculture, information technology, higher education, science & technology and technical education. The meeting was informed that targeted interventions will be made in the less-developed districts of the country so that they could be brought at par with other parts of the country.

The Ten billion Tsunami Programme, Prime Minister’s Youth Skill Development Initiative, rehabilitation of affected population residing along Line of Control, construction of Gilgit-Shandur-Chitral Road, improvement in the sewerage and sanitation system of Gilgit, and development of merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are some of the major priority areas of PSDP 2019-20.

The progress report of the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) and Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) from 1st April 2018 to 31st March 2019 was also laid before the National Economic Council.

Meanwhile, the NEC confirmed extension in powers of Special Forum for Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in FATA (erstwhile) till December 2019. The special forum, under the chairmanship of Commander 11 Corps, was established by the NEC three years ago to fast track the implementation mechanism for rehabilitation and reconstruction of erstwhile FATA.

The meeting approved the establishment of Islamabad Development Working Party (IDWP), to be headed by the Islamabad Capital Territory chief commissioner. The IDWP would be allowed to approve development projects up to Rs60 million.

The NEC approved the procedure for approval of Programme for Results (PforR), Development Policy Credits (DPCs) and Financial Intermediation Programmes (FIPs).

The prime minister on the occasion admitted that the country was facing an unprecedented economic crisis. He said that close liaison between the federal government and provinces was needed to uplift the economy.

The prime minister said that the government has introduced local government systems in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to ensure empowerment of the people at the grassroots level, and also to provide the masses with an opportunity to play their part in national development.

He reiterated his call to the provinces to allocate necessary financial resources, as per the commitments made earlier, for the development of erstwhile FATA.

The meeting was attended by Adviser Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Planning Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood, KP Governor Shah Farman, Azad Jammu & Kashmir PM Raja Farooq Haider as well as chief ministers and finance ministers of all provinces.

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