ISLAMABAD: The President, Gen A.M. Yahya Khan, will preside over the National Economic Council meeting officially set for Feb 3 [to discuss the] formulation of the nation’s Fourth Five-Year Plan (1970-75) according to an official announcement today [Jan 23].

The meeting is taking place at least four months behind schedule. One reason for the delay is that the Planning Commission officials were faced with a rapidly changing situation during this period. The breaking up of the One-Unit of West Pakistan was announced by the President on Nov 28, 1969, and fresh work had to be started on the resources allocation available, region-wise, as well as between the new province of West Pakistan. The announcement by the President of a schedule for transfer of power to an elected civilian government also created a new situation which had to be reckoned with.

Up to now, the Planning Commission has been thinking in terms of a plan size of Rs7,200 crore — up from the Third Plan original estimates of Rs5,200 crore. The Third Plan expenditure had a shortfall of around 30 per cent — as indicated by the statistics available so far. — Agency

Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2020