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Economic Development directly linked to Research and Development: Minister

Lahore, April 16, 2016 (PPI-OT):Economic Development is directly linked to research and technology therefore a special attention is being given to strengthen research institutions. Budget for Research and Development in PCSIR is being increased from Rs. 65 million to Rs. 250 million.

This was stated by the Federal Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanveer Hussain while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The LCCI Senior Vice President Almas Hyder, Vice President Nasir Saeed, Chairman Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) Dr. Shahzad Alam, LCCI Executive Committee Members Amjad Ali Jawa, Mian Abdul Razaq, Mian Zahid Javed and representatives of trade and industry were present on the occasion.

The Minister said that all resources are being utilized to promote Research Culture so that dream to join the club of technologically advanced nations could come true. He regretted that the low allocations for the vital sectors like science and technology had kept the country dependent on developed world despite the fact that country has no dearth of resources. He said that special concentration is focused on need-based and result-oriented research which would save valuable time and money.

The Minister said that innovation is a key to economic competitiveness and research institutions and researchers would have to come forward to address the gaps in the current scenario by developing world-class technologies. He said that there is a close link between science and technology and industry therefore interaction is being enhanced with the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the countries.

He informed the participants that a Common Facility Centre has been established at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry which would provide one window facility to the business doing people. He said that 16 organizations are working under the ministry. He said that system is being made efficient and result-oriented and while all appointments are being made on merit to achieve the growth target.

The LCCI Senior Vice President Almas Hyder said that Ministry of Science and Technology holds key importance as it is responsible for maintaining much needed culture of applied and academic research and development in the country. Technology commercialization, development of standards for quality control, accreditation, education and effective linkages between industry and academia etc., are some of the key functions of this ministry. However, the performance indicators of all the organizations working under Ministry of Science and Technology need to match with the requirements of modern era.

He said that Pakistan has 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 need to utilize existing resources optimally through reorganizing our R and D infrastructure and moving towards knowledge economy to rectify the dismal situation.

“We keep hearing that new technology parks are being set up in various countries which are doing great job in spreading the fruits of Science and Technology across their respective regions. But unfortunately, this idea could not gain much popularity in Pakistan. We still need to make best use of this idea. You will agree with me that for achieving quicker results, we must set up technology parks in various cities of Pakistan”, the LCCI Senior Vice President added.

He said that we are also concerned about low frequency of technology commercialization especially with regards to shifting the benefits to the researchers. In 1980, US government introduced a policy which ensured that all universities engaged in carrying out research projects must be compensated. On this pattern, Pakistan has to support the research work.

Japan made its universities join hands with industry and at the same time their government contributed directly to economic activity through technology transfer. China and India followed their footsteps in due course of time and today they are enjoying its benefits leaving us far behind in terms of not being able to develop even the basic infrastructure required for such relationship building.

He said that the size of global Halal food industry is dollar 3 trillion and it is increasing year by year. Pakistan is a natural hub for halal food industry but our share is negligible. Pakistan has the potential to become a major player and Ministry should take up this matter seriously.

The LCCI Vice President Nasir Saeed said that an immediate shift to R and D in Food and Agriculture sectors will not only bring prosperity at wider scope but also open up new avenues for to get out of traditional ways of managing economic affairs. He said that research was critical to taking a strategic approach to planning or economic growth and improved productivity. It is only through economic growth and improved productivity that we could create employment opportunity.

Chairman PCSIR Dr. Shahzad Alam said that basic objective of the organization is to facilitate the local industry. He said that PCSIR has established close linkages with the industrial sector and providing maximum cooperation in the larger interest of the economy. He said that though organization has faced financial problems in past but now situation is quite different.

He said that earning of the organization is around Rs. 300 million out of which 60% is being spent on Research and Development. He said that PCSIR has offered 139 products based on modern technology, to the industry while also offering around 62 low cost laboratory equipment. He informed the participants that PCSIR is also helping defence sector by providing necessary inputs for defence products.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Khalil
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-222-499
Fax: +92-42-36368854
Website: www.lcci.org.pk

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