ISLAMABAD: The National Economic Council has approved public sector development programme of about 800 billion rupees for the next financial year, according to a press release issued by the government. The meeting, held in Islamabad on Monday afternoon, was chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif through video link from the Pakistan High Commission in London. Apart from 800 billion rupees, provinces would also be spending 875 billion rupees on development, taking total development plan to a record level of 1675 billion rupees for the next financial year. The development programme includes 655 billion rupees for development, 100 billion rupees for rehabilitation of displaced persons, 120 billion rupees for the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme and 25 billion rupees for gas infrastructure development. Addressing the meeting, Prime Minister Nawaz expressed the confidence that achievements of the government during the last three years would provide firm foundation for economic development and stability. He said that GDP growth rate during tenure of his government remain above four percent and this year Pakistan was set to achieve GDP growth rate of 4.71 percent which is highest in eight years. He said that the government aims to achieve six to seven percent GDP growth rate during the next two years. The prime minister also expressed the confidence that timely completion of projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor especially energy projects would prove to be of far-reaching importance for economic development. He hoped that this would not only bring progress for the people but also attract investment in different areas. After the address, chief ministers of Balochistan, Sindh, Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit Baltistan and governors of Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan expressed their good wishes for the prime minister and prayed for his early recovery. They assured him that they would cooperate with his cabinet colleagues in his absence on different economic issues. Federal Minister for Finance Senator Ishaq Dar said that there were fiscal constraints but all stakeholders cooperated in accommodating their demands within 655 billion rupee development programme for the next year.