Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Planning Procedures in Pakistan

Because economic plans are made by ministers, civil servants, and engineers, as well as by economists, it would be arrogant to expect planning procedures to conform strictly to the rules of economic analysis. Nevertheless, as professional men, we would like to know how much use is made of the economist’s techniques and, where none are used, to consider what techniques could be recommended to the planners. A paper concerning this problem was recently prepared in the Institute of Development Economics by Professors Fei and Ranis1. The first part of this paper is a comment on their work. The accumulation of knowledge requires criticism, but it also requires fresh hypotheses. In the second part, I have outlined the Pakistan Planning Commission’s planning procedure as I have been able to infer it from Commission documents and conversations with individuals who participated in the preparation of the Second Plan. This report is preliminary, because I have not studied all the documents that could be made available, nor have I gone deeply into details of the procedure. My reasons for publishing such an analysis at this time are to draw attention to certain procedural problems whose treatment has important effects on the end result of the planning process and to offer my encouragement to anyone who would ‘undertake the further study which this planning experience deserves.

Fred C. Shorter

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