For Economic Development: ‘Govt Paying Special Attention to Strengthen Institutions


For Economic Development: ‘Govt Paying Special Attention to Strengthen Institutions

Since economic development is directly linked to research and technology, the government is paying special attention to strengthen research institutions and enhanced the Pakistan Council of Scientific Industrial Research (PCSIR) budget to Rs 250 million from a mere Rs 65 million.

Science and Technology Minister Rana Tanveer Hussain announced this in a meeting with business community at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Saturday. LCCI Senior Vice President Almas Hyder, Vice President Nasir Saeed, Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) Chairman Dr Shahzad Alam, the LCCI Executive Committee members and representatives of trade and industry were also present.

Rana Tanveer said all resources were being utilised to promote research culture so that dream to join the club of technologically advanced nations could come true. He regretted that low allocations for vital sectors like science and technology had kept the country dependent on developed world despite the fact that country had no dearth of resources.

He said that 16 organisations were working under the Ministry of Science and Technology, adding that system was being made efficient and result-oriented, and all appointments were being made on merit to achieve growth target.

“Special focus on need-based and result-oriented research saves valuable time and money, and innovation is a key to economic competitiveness. The research institutions and researchers will have to come forward to address the gaps in the current scenario by developing world-class technologies,” he maintained. The federal minister said that there was a close link between science and technology and industry, therefore, interaction was being enhanced with the country’s chambers of commerce. He mentioned that a Common Facility Centre had been established at Sialkot CCI to provide one window facility to businessmen.

LCCI SVP Almas Hyder said that the S&T Ministry had key importance for being responsible for maintaining much needed culture of applied and academic research and development in the country, adding that technology commercialisation, development of standards for quality control, accreditation, education and effective linkages between industry and academia etc were some of the key functions of this ministry. However, he said the performance indicators of all the organisations working under the ministry needed to match with requirements of modern era.

“Pakistan has is yet to be placed at some respectable position in the innovation index because of low end production of cheap goods and inefficient energy consumption ratio. Even after more than six decades of its creation, Pakistan still remains to be a producer of primary commodities. In view of current resource constraint, there is a need to utilise existing resources optimally through reorganising our research and development infrastructure and moving towards knowledge economy to rectify the dismal situation,” he suggested.

Almas Hyder said new technology parks were being set up in various countries and doing great job in spreading benefits of science and technology across their respective regions. But unfortunately, he added, this idea could not gain much popularity in Pakistan. “You will agree with me that for achieving quicker results, we must set up technology parks in various cities of Pakistan,” he viewed. LCCI Vice President Nasir Saeed said that an immediate shift to R&D in food and agriculture sectors would not only bring prosperity at wider scope but also open up new avenues to get out of traditional ways of managing economic affairs. Research was critical in taking a strategic approach to planning or economic growth and improved productivity, he said, citing, “It is only through economic growth and improved productivity that we can create employment opportunity.”

PCSIR Chairman Dr Shahzad Alam said that basic objective of the organization was to facilitate local industry, and the PCSIR had established close linkages with industrial sector and was providing maximum cooperation in the larger interest of the economy.

Courtesy: Daily Times

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