Some Reflections on "Planning Experience in Pakistan"

Taufiq M. Khan


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┬Čity 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

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