ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Tuesday said that the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf government faced no political challenge as main opposition leaders Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari have already contested their last elections.
Talking to media persons outside the Parliament House, the minister said that the challenges being faced by the present government were governance and economy and pragmatic steps were being taken to improve those.
Fawad said that history was created by special meeting of federal cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan to review the performance of ministries on Monday.
Chaudhry Fawad quoted Prime Minister Imran Khan as saying that the government sincerely believed in changing the lot of the poor. He said that the main difference between present and the previous governments was that the present government was sincere in changing the lot of the poor.
He said the performance of ministries would be reviewed after every three months. Each ministry would be given more targets to achieve during the stipulated time frame, he said.
He said the PM told the cabinet that foundation of new Pakistan had been laid during last 100 days and stressed for devising a strategy to achieve the targets within the stipulated time frame. To cope with the current situation of the country extra ordinary work needed to be done, he said.
He said that the Prime Minister considered power as sacred trust of the people and that was the concept of the state of Madina.
He said there was no doubt about the intentions of the Prime Minister for serving the masses and brings real change in the lives of the poor. He said in the past the performance of the ministers and ministries were never reviewed as the ministers used to enjoy the perks at the cost of public money.
He said that PTI government believed that it was answerable to the people of Pakistan and it was committed to improving governance and economy, the two big challenges being faced by the country due to misrule of past ten years by mediocre political leadership.
Mediocre leadership of the past ruined politics, governance and institutions, he said adding that the former rulers came to power without any struggle. On the contrary, he said that Imran Khan came to power after 22 years political struggle and knew the importance of coming to power and serving the masses.
He said that the decision to sell luxury vehicles and buffaloes in the Prime Minister House was a message that the government believed in austerity and all ministries will have to follow the policy.
Referring to the spending of tax payers money on treatment of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, he said that about Rs.40 million were spent on his treatment in London while almost Rs40 million were wasted on the special PIA plane on which he travelled to United Kingdom.
He said that Nawaz Sharif which claimed to be a billionaire, did not pay a penny during his rule. Even when he was not prime minister, refreshment bills at Punjab House meetings were paid by Punjab government headed by his brother Shahbaz Sharif.
This showed the mentality of the former rulers whereas the Prime Minster Imran Khan was mindful of the use of every rupee from the national exchequer, he remarked.
The Minister said that a portion of population was living below poverty line and stunted growth in children was a major issue in the country and the government was duty bound to improve the situation.
Fawad stressed that tax payment culture needs to be promoted to take forward the country. He justified taxation on imported mobile phones saying the country is importing cellular phones worth two billion dollars and the wealthy people who purchase costly imported phones and make up item have to pay taxes so that the poorest segments of the society could be provided health and education facilities.
He said as per vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and his economic team, tax net would be increased so that the dependence on foreign loans should be ended. To a question, he said that it was prerogative of the prime minister to change portfolios of the minister, though in the cabinet meeting he did not give any impression of reshuffle in cabinet.