Ru­ral devel­op­ment must for eco­nomic growth: ICCI

The Pak Banker - - 2national -

IS­LAM­ABAD: The Is­lam­abad Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try (ICCI) has urged the govern­ment to pay spe­cial at­ten­tion to ru­ral devel­op­ment as it is nec­es­sary for the coun­try's eco­nomic growth. Mah­fooz Elahi, pres­i­dent ICCI was ad­dress­ing a meet­ing here on Mon­day.

He said the ru­ral sec­tor con­sists of large pro­por­tion of to­tal pop­u­la­tion of the coun­try, which has very small ac­cess to ba­sic ne­ces­si­ties of life like health care, bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion, trans­porta­tion, com­mu­ni­ca­tion fa­cil­i­ties, safe and clear drink­ing wa­ter and elec­tric­ity etc.

Cit­ing the ex­am­ple of China, he said it had shifted its fo­cus on ru­ral devel­op­ment by al­lo­cat­ing a huge amount in the an­nual bud­get.

He said that re­forms are needed to be brought for ru­ral devel­op­ment for en­hanc­ing the liv­ing stan­dards of the peo­ple, along with skill devel­op­ment for pro­vid­ing jobs to a large seg­ment of peo­ple liv­ing in these ar­eas.

Mah­fooz Elahi said that Sus­tain­able ru­ral mi­cro­fi­nance pro­gram is re­quired for lo­cal en­ter­prise devel­op­ment and train­ing cen­ters can be es­tab­lished for im­part­ing dif­fer­ent skills to pro­duce skill­ful la­bor.

These mi­cro­fi­nance in­sti­tu­tions should of­fer both sav­ings and credit ser­vices to ru­ral area in­hab­i­tants so that they can mobilize their own re­sources more ef­fi­ciently.

He said that Vil­lage Skills Devel­op­ment Pro­gram should be de­mand-driven to fo­cus mainly on tra­di­tional crafts mak­ing at the vil­lage level to en­hance earn­ing po­ten­tial of the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

The ICCI pres­i­dent said that new farm­ing tech­niques should be in­tro­duced with the help of for­eign ex­perts. He said that per acre yield in Pak­istan is much be­low than other coun­tries, which is re­quired to be en­hanced to meet the needs of the grow­ing pop­u­la­tion.

He said that Pak­istan mostly de­pend on an agrobased econ­omy, there­fore we should pay more at­ten­tion on re­search by de­vel­op­ing new va­ri­ety of agri­cul­ture pro­duce rather than con­cen­trat­ing only on tra­di­tional agri­cul­ture items.

He said that by de­vel­op­ing new crops and hav­ing va­ri­ety of agri­cul­ture prod­ucts, the coun­try can en­hance its ex­ports con­sid­er­ably which at present is much be­low than the ex­ist­ing po­ten­tial. -App

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