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LAHORE: The Punjab Planning and Development Department with technical assistance from the UK’s Department for International Development-funded Sub-National Governance (SNG) Programme organised a workshop on Monday to kick-start formulation of Punjab Annual Development Plan (ADP) 2016-17.

Senior officers from planning and development, health, education, livestock and dairy development, mines and mineral, information and culture, local government and community development departments and Punjab Economic Research Institute participated in the workshop.

The workshop involved presenting the Punjab government’s priorities such as Punjab Growth Strategy 2014-2018 to departments, including health, education, agriculture and industries for their guidance and development of projects that best corresponded with the government’s commitment to achieve provincial growth of 7pc to 8pc, create job opportunities for one million people, provide skills to two million youth and deliver quality public services to people of Punjab.

Planning and Development Secretary Iftikhar Sahu introduced participants to the changing planning paradigm and imperatives for ADP 2016-17. He stressed the need for learning from last year’s development projects and building on them to achieve greater results and value for money that the government was spending on development of Punjab.

Hamid Yaqoob Sheikh, team lead for SNG Programme, said the workshop was a continuation of work the programme had undertaken to improve planning and development capacities in Punjab. He told the participants that SNG had supported the planning and development department in updating Punjab Planning Manual and ADP guidelines to make these documents relevant and effective as guides for development planners.

Faisal Rasheed, the SNG public financial management adviser, presented key pillars of Punjab Growth Strategy and gaps therein. He also explained the Punjab government’s vision for 2018 as well as commitments that were required from departments for successful execution of the strategy.

Dr Ijaz Nabi, adviser to the chief minister, while discussing operationalisation of the strategy emphasised the design of ADP should “attract private investment, which is the heart of Punjab Economic Growth Strategy”.

Published in Dawn, March 1st, 2016