Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal has highlighted that for Pakistan to maintain its economy, exports must climb to $100 billion over the next five years.
While briefing the meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly on Planning, which was presided over by Khalid Hussain Magsi, the minister made these comments.
According to the minister, Pakistan’s future hinges on the government’s efforts to increase export potential.
According to the planning minister, Pakistan can become a hub for global trade thanks to China’s Belt and Road Initiative because of its geographic location.
The past administration, he continued, was always accusing people of being thieves and infuriated China by charging it with spending lavishly on projects. The government is preparing to host the 11th meeting of the Pakistan-China Joint Coordination Committee on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) because “we are now regaining China’s confidence.”
He claimed that China also benefits from having a different corridor as part of CPEC. Pakistan would gain greatly if even 5% of China’s trade originated in Pakistan.
He added that Chinese corporations had established energy projects under the IPP model and that China had provided concessional financing for infrastructural projects.
According to the minister, Pakistan might gain from the creation of more than 80 million new jobs in China as a result of the country’s high cost of labor.
According to Ahsan Iqbal, there were issues with Chinese business visas under the Tehreek-i-Insaaf. He asserted that political stability and the continuance of economic development programs on a sustainable basis are essential because, following the 18th amendment, 58% of NFC revenue now goes to the provinces.
Syed Mahmood Shah, a member of the committee, lamented at the meeting that not a single project from his district had been included in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2022–23.
According to Ahsan Iqbal, Pakistan’s development agenda requires around Rs. 1900 billion annually in funding, but due to financial restrictions in the current fiscal year, the government was only able to set aside Rs. 700 billion.
The minister claimed that while the PML-N government implemented Vision 2010 and Vision 2025, the previous administration did not approve the five-year plan.
Ahsan Iqbal further stated that the federal government’s tax and non-tax earnings will total Rs. 9000 billion this year, of which Rs. 4000 billion would be distributed to the provinces and Rs. 4000 billion would be used to settle debts. This meant that the entire government was dependent on borrowing.