Some Reflections on “Planning Experience in Pakistan”

Publication Year : 1968

In his address delivered at the 15th Annual Conference of the Pakistan Economic Association, Dr. M. N. Huda has reviewed the planning experience in Pakistan. He is eminently suited to undertake this review as he has been very intimately associated with the planning processes at both the provincial and central government levels. The address, though brief, raises a number of important issues in regard to the formulation and implementation of the annual and five-year plans of the country, issues which deserve serious consideration by the planning authorities. The following discussion of his address is an attempt to supplement some of the points raised’ by him. With the quickening pace of economic development, the need for more and accurate data is being increasingly felt in the country. Lack of adequate and reliable data not only hampers the use of sophisticated analytical tools for formulating comprehensive national and regional plans but also adversely affects the measurement of the performance of the economy from year to year. This is not the occasion to go into the details of the merits and demerits of the statistical series which are now being published by various sources. Suffice it to say that there is a great need of improving the contents, quality and regular¬ity of these data. The collection of statistics is not keeping pace with the improvements in the economic activity. Even such vital information as the size of population and its rate of growth is not known with any reasonable accuracy. The results of the 1961 Census of Population are generally adjusted upward by 8.25 per cent for underenumeration in the census. Similarly, the average rate of inter-censal increase in 1961 Census was estimated to be 2.15 per cent for Pakistan, 2.36 per cent for West and 1.91 per cent for East Pakistan. The annual rate of growth of population is now assumed to be 2.6 per cent although there is evidence that it exceeds 3 per cent.

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