LAHORE -  Planning and Development Department Punjab has launched “The Punjab Economic Report 2017” which reveals the development of energy, health, education and infrastructure sectors in Punjab. Report also highlights the challenges and way forward towards the economic growth.

The report presents an overview of the economy on socio-economic profile (poverty, inequality, regional disparities), structure (agriculture, industry, services), social sector (health, education, WASH), infrastructure and urban development, IT, provincial investment in energy, and public-sector resource management.

In addition to providing an assessment of the PGS 2018, the report also provides an assessment of the opportunities available to the province in terms of CPEC.

Dr Ayesha was the chief guest on this occasion whereas the Provincial Minister for Planning and Development Nadeem Kamran, Minister for Environment Begum Zakya Shahnawaz, Minister For Population Mukhtar Ahmed Bhart, Minister Mines and Mineral Sher Ali, Chief Secretary Captain Zahid Syed, Senior Economist and Consultant of Hafeez Pasha, Chairman P&D Jahanzaib Khan, Secretary P&D Iftikhar Ali Sahoo, Dr Turab Hussai, Dr Ejaz Nabi, Director PERI  Dr. Mumtaz Anwar, Country Director World Bank Patchamuthu Illangovan, government officers and representatives from academia were also present there.

While addressing the ceremony, Dr Hafiz A Pasha, former federal minister finance and eminent economist, highlighted that Punjab was on track to achieving a growth rate of 6% by the end of the year which would be the highest growth rate in eleven years. He said that Punjab has shown a growth rate of 5% in major crops in 2016-17, which was the highest in the last ten years. He emphasized that Punjab needs to focus on providing employment to the youth of Punjab in order to take advantage of the youth bulge in Punjab. He also highlighted the need to develop secondary cities in Punjab as part of its Urban Development strategy in order to reduce the burden on existing cities.

Finance Minister Punjab Dr. Ayesha Ghous Pasha said that Punjab needs to harness the opportunities and not shy away from the challenges. She further said that Punjab is a role model for other provinces, saying Punjab Economic Report will help us to enhance our capacity in policy making and development. She reiterated the significance of evidence-based policy making and was of the view that this report would be beneficial for devising strategic development goals. She explained how the province was making progress in achieving the targeted growth rate through improving the energy generation, fuel mix, and security situation of the province. She also highlighted that under the Growth Strategy framework, 2-million youth would be provided with adequate education and skills to ensure their employability.

Provincial Minister for P&D Malik Nadeem Kamran hoped that the report would assess the current economic situation, key performance indicators and the strengths of the province and also assist the government by identifying key areas where the province needs more attention.

Earlier, Chairman P&D Punjab Muhammad Jehanzeb Khan, welcoming Cabinet ministers, experts, government representatives, business leaders, academicians & researchers to the launch of Punjab Economic Report (PER) 2017, said that the government has achieved the important task of holistically documenting the economy of Punjab. He said that the 7th NFC award has shifted the fiscal balance in favor of the provinces and the 18th Amendment has given constitutional rights to the provinces to focus on human development in the provinces.