ISLAMABAD: Secretary ministry of planning, development and reforms, Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui Wednesday said China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has played a significant role through investment in energy and infrastructure projects, ensuring zero load shedding to industrial sector, raising employment opportunities and encouraging micro entrepreneurship contributed significantly to control unemployment.
Addressing a seminar titled "Accelerating Growth for Employment Generation" here, the secretary said the creation of productive remunerative and decent employment is key mechanism through which benefits of growth can be distributed to different segments of society.
The seminar was organized by the macroeconomic section of Planning Commission to devise strategies to harness economic growth for employment generation.
The secretary planning said employment generation offers critical link between economic growth, reduction in poverty and income inequality.
While speaking about the government's reforms and employment situation, the secretary maintained that it has launched youth development program including Youth Business Loan schemes, interest free loans schemes to vulnerables and poor, youth training schemes, and "Youth Skill Development Program" through NAVTTC (National Vocational & Technical Training Commission).
Former Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Dr Ishrat Hussain said, "we need to look at the best practices in the developing countries to compete with the globalized world and overcome our socio-economic issues".
This would not only help in acquiring equal competencies but help us in avoiding the mistakes and take precautionary measures.
He said Pakistan has to start with the elasticities at a sub sectoral level which would help in sorting out the required policy interventions and to ensure institutional changes to accelerate the coefficience of the time.
He stated that Pakistan is blessed with a serious, dedicated and intellectual women population but unfortunately many of them either don't join institutions after acquiring education or their skills and talent remains utilized.
Equal female participation would enhance the productivity of the labour force. Secondly government will have to focus on agriculture sector. Water scarcity is also one of the major constraints and therefore the govt needs to pay serious efforts to improve the utilization and productivity of the agricultural land, labour and water; revisiting and enhancing country's agricultural policies.
Dr. Ishrat Hussain observed that inequality and growth can never go together. Government and the policy makers will have to take into account the challenge of considering employment as a part of growth strategy as well as they need to equally focus on inequality reduction strategy.
He further illuminated that besides macro-economic challenges, Pakistan also have sectoral challenges which can only be met by the continuous consultation and joining hands with the experts from private sector as well as taking on board the relevant stakeholders.
He further stated that any employment policy would be meaningless if it lacks linkages between the labour policy, education policy, industrial policy, agricultural policy and the overseas employment policy.
Saud Bangash of Pakistan Business Council, Dr. Sabur Ghayur and Joint Chief economist Rai Nasir Ali Khan also addressed on the occasion.
Senior officials of the Ministry of Planning Development and Reform and around 150 relevant stakeholders from industry and academia attended the session. APP