Economic Development in Pakistan
Economic Development in Pakistan At the time of Pakistan’s independence in 1947, the country’s economic sector was very weak. During British rule, no major industries were set up in these areas. Lack of expertise and resources, poor administrative infrastructure, etc. were the factors due to which Pakistan faced enormous economic challenges.
After the creation of Pakistan, steps were taken to bring reforms and development in all fields. Economic policies were chalked out in accordance with the available resources, which moved Pakistan forward on the way to economic prosperity.
First Five-Year Plan (1955-60)
In July 1953, the Planning Board was set up to prepare a comprehensive plan for progress in the national economy. The board chalked out the first five-year plan, 1955- 60. The plan focused on raising the standard of living. Increasing exports was identified as a solution for mitigating the balance of payment. The attention was focused on the sectors of housing, education, health, and social welfare. As a result of the implementation of this plan, the Gross National Product (GNP) registered a 15% increase. Rapid industrial development was noticed as the result of the establishment of the Industrial Development Corporation. Warsak Dam was founded with the cooperation of Canada.
Second Five-Year Plan (1960-65)
This plan was launched in 1960 and completed in 1965. In this plan, the agriculture sector was given priority over the industrial sector. In order to improve the irrigation system, canals, and dams were constructed on a priority basis. The sectors of water and power, communication, education, and manpower were also given special attention The plan achieved more success than its assigned targets. The Gross National Product (GNP) increased by 38%, agricultural production by 27%, industrial production by 61%, and exports by 1,980 million rupees.
Third Five-Year Plan (1965-70)
This plan was chalked out in light of past experience, but at the start of its operation, India waged a war against Pakistan. In this situation, the Government of Pakistan had to change the priorities of the plan. A large portion of the fiscal resources was spent on the defense of the country. Despite this emergent situation, some major projects, like Tarbela and Mangla Dams, were completed.
Fourth Five-Year Plan (1970-75)
The main objectives of this plan were to speed up the pace of economic progress by exploiting all material and human resources, raise the per capita income, and eliminate unemployment. The plan was giving beneficial results, but due to the Indo- Pak war of 1971, it could not be fully implemented. Later, it was converted into just an annual development plan.
Fifth Five-Year Plan (1975-80)
This plan started on 1″ July 1978. The main objectives of the plan were to basic needs of the people, increase employment opportunities, and industrial development. The implementation of the plan resulted in an increase of GNP by 6% and in industrial development by 9.7%. The Steel Mills, Karachi started production. Electricity was provided to 8,833 villages. The communication sector witnessed a 20.2% increase. Due to an increase in the use of fertilizer and mechanized farming, the food deficit changed into a food surplus. The pace of progress became faster in the less developed areas of the country.
Sixth Five-Year Plan (1983-88)
The sixth five-year plan was launched on 1″ July, The objective was a rapid and equally funded countrywide development so that the benefits of prosperity should be reached to the maximum number of people. The implementation of the plan resulted in an increase in the generation of electricity by 13.6% and the production of oil and gas by 11.8%. Electricity was provided to 16,525 villages and 1,803 basic health units were founded. The volume of exports increased by 11%.
Seventh Five-Year Plan (1988-93)
The objectives of this plan included providing employment to educated youth, human resource development, and provision of basic amenities to the people. The plan focused on the payment of foreign loans, private sector development, and stability in the prices of commodities. The plan failed to achieve its targets. The budget deficit increased, however, investment in the private sector also increased.
Eighth Five-Year Plan (1993-98)
This plan was aimed at uplifting the social and economic welfare of the people. The targets of the plan included the creation of 62 lacs in new job opportunities, an increase in national savings, and the preparation of special development projects for the less developed areas and communities. The implementation of the plan resulted in a 5.57% increase in agriculture production. A loan of Rs.37 billion was granted to the farmers as a whole and improved seeds were also distributed among them. However, industrial growth could not be increased due to load shedding.
Medium-Term Development Plan (2005-10)
After the completion of the 8″ five-year plan in June 1998, the succession of five-year plans was halted due to the instability of the government, the nuclear test in 1998, and the dismissal of the Nawaz Sharif Government. However, the Planning Commission of Pakistan launched another five-year plan for the period of 2005-10. The objectives of this plan were to create a just and stable economic system that should reduce poverty and provide equal opportunities for development all across the country.
The targets of this plan included the increase in exports and development in the sectors of energy, communication, education, and public health. The government also devised a long-term National Energy Security Plan till 2030. Its important points are as follows:
(i) To explore new reserves of oil, gas, and coal, and increase their production.
(ii) Maximum exploitation of the existing resources to reduce dependence on oil.
(iii) Encouragement of the private sector to invest in the energy sector. These steps of the government resulted in the rapid development of Pakistan in agriculture and industrial sectors. At present, the share of agriculture is 19.2% of the country’s GDP. Next to agriculture, the industrial sector is important to our economy. In the period of Five Year Plans, whatever increase had been witnessed in our GDP, it is mainly by the industrial progress. Now we have been able to export many products and opportunities for employment also have increased.