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Working Paper

Some Thoughts on Medium- and Long-Term Social Development Plans in Pakistan

페이스북
커버이미지
  • 저자 연하청(延河淸)
  • 발행일 1986/12/01
  • 시리즈 번호 8612
원문보기
요약 This paper was written when the author was in Pakistan as
a consultant to the Government of Pakistan. the consultancy was
funded by the United Nations development Program and
administered by the Ministry of Planning and Development of
Pakistan.

1. The most critical factors in measuring the effectiveness of
national socio-economic plans are: how well suited the plan is th
the cultural and social background of the country and the
current political and economic systems; how effectively the plans
respond to changes in both external and internal conditions; and
how effectively the government leaders can mobilize enthusiasm
for the implementation of the plans.

2. Aside from a limited number of large-scale projects,
investment choices should be left to private initiative; the
government should do no more than indicate the general
framework and direction in which such choices should be made.
The government should further reduce its market intervention of
regulation and protection and should provide a new incentive
system to foster creative endeavors in the private sector. It is
recommended, however, that the government intervene directly in
the areas of basic needs such as education, housing, and health
care, and thus complement market mechanisms. With respect to
social development, the government should design investment
programs in order to maintain a consistent, well-organized policy
within the limit of overall financial resources.

3. Consequently, in order to carry out these responsibilities,
the Planning Commission should exercise full control over the
government budget and should also be equipped with the
nations's statistical bureau to monitor and survey economic
trends through a nationwide network. The Government of
Pakistan could not make systematic socio-economic development
plans due to the shortage of basic data and socio-economic
statistics essential to development planning. High priority should
be given to improving both the database for central and regional
planning purposes and the system of population registration for
more effective utilization of this source for planning purposes.

4. Beginning with the preparation of planning guidelines
through to the formulation of the various sectoral plans, there
should be ample opportunities for the private sector to participate
through discussions among specialist and interested parties. In
other words, the five-year and long-term plans should be
prepared on the basis of a national consensus. For the business
community and the general public, therefore, socio-economic
management plans should serve as the primary source of
information for government policy priorities and expected
macroeonomic conditions.

5. In formulating the sectoral plans(education, manpower
development, and health), sectoral working committees should be
established to expand opportunities for relevant institutions and
non-government individuals to participate in the planning
process. On the other hand, to increase the effectiveness of the
plan, the development experiences and planning techniques of
other countries should be introduced in every field, and a major
review should be undertaken to select those techniques which
appear to be vest suited to Pakistan's problems and database.

6. The economy must be directed to the desired path taking
into account the changing external environment and emerging
domestic needs. Reassessing the development strategy will
demand a longer planning period because of the increasing
complexity and deepening industrial structure of the economy. In
this regard, urgent consideration should be given to establishing
a national spatial planning committee, and special steps should
be taken to increase the supply of professional planners. For this
purpose, the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics(PIDE)
should start a long-term policy-oriented study in close
cooperations with the Planning Commission. Futhermore, PIDE
should cooperate closely with other research institutes to identify
the major takes and challenges which the Pakistan government
is likely to face during the coming years of the 21st century.

7. One major weakness of the planning procedure of
mid-term plan is that objective criticism- i.e., external evaluation
- is ruled out, and both the analysis and internal evaluation of
the economic performance are reduces to a mere public-relations
exercise, thus blocking all avenues for genuine improvement.
The present planning document is the output of the above
'decision-making structure'. As such, its thrusts are purely
subjective and tailored to suit short-rum goals. For instance, the
federal government issues loans to provincial governments
without interest. Perhaps the payments should be made on the
basis of GNP rate of growth.

8. Another problem facing Pakistan's economic planning is
the growing centralization. The government needs to undertake
suitable economic measures like deregulation, denationalization
and to implement effective market mechanisms and
administrative controls. The thesis is that more the
decentralization, better the prospects of resource mobilizations at
the various tiers. This is likely to happen because federalization
increases provinces' dependence the center and reduces the
provinces' inclination to mobilize funds at their end. Local and
regional planning power should be strengtened in Pakistan.

9. Instead of spreading thinly her meagre resources, as she
has done in the past, Pakistan should try to follow a
concentrated action policy. Pakistan should try to develop various
sectors like roads, primary health cares, and technical education.
consequently, in every short-term period(year or years), she
should select a particular program- setting national priority- and
concentrate an substantial part of her resources thereon. A
policy of this nature will enable her to see tangible results in a
short time. Along with this policy, she should try to develop
some reliable and viable mechanism to ensure proper
implementation of various projects. It seems to me that this is
the weakest aspect of her development pursuits.

10. The allocation of a substantial sum of funds for the
education sector is a positive step. But it is crucial that these
funds serve its intended purpose. Perhaps more indepth inquiries
into the maladies of the sector rather than more funds is
necessary. What is needed is an effective linkage between
education, manpower and industrial policies, and overall
developmental compositions of the country. A thorough
investigation of this topic should be undertaken to identify
priority areas for more detailed consideration.

11. Achieving a high national literacy level is a gigantic
task, but the government must realize that literacy and
development policy go together. Consultant cannot expect good
results from the current literacy programme. Urgent
consideration should be given to a feasibility review of the
primary education policy with view to introducing a compulsory
and co0education system in Pakistan.

12. Pakistan is presently suffering from the shortage of
infrastructure development, Until now Pakistanis have relied on
governmental agencies to develop infrastructure. Given the slow
speed at which governmental agencies build roads, educational
facilities, health facilities, however, it may be advisable to allow
the construction of infrastructure by public and private agencies
on the basis of user charges. Consequently. the feasibility of
introducing user changes in the social development field should
be investigated. Pakistan needs to try this innovation in this
sector to solve not the problem of resource allocation but the
problem of resource generations.

13. All of the above aspects need to be thoroughly studied,
because only through such innovative ways can Pakistan be in a
position to use her funds in the vest interest of development.
The past Five-Year Plans were based mainly on the national
income account and input-output analyses for individual projects
due to time limitations, a shortage of statistical data,
inexperience in planning techniques, and so on. The formulation
of resource allocation is not merely an accountant's exercise: it
is much more difficult and requires much imagination.

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