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Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday that bottom line of the government's economic, agricultural and other policies would be to help the poor suffering from economic restructuring.
While addressing the launching ceremony of "Ehsaas Financial Inclusion Initiatives," the Prime Minister said that most of the taxes are paid by common people in the form of indirect taxes and the government would take care of them.
The Premier further stated that it is sad that there is three-tier education system with one for the elite, other for the poor and the third one is religious seminaries. He said society can't progress without imparting education to the women.
Khan said that his motive for coming into politics was to build a welfare state in Pakistan. He said that financial inclusion is core of the Ehaas Program and regretted that unfortunately the trend in the world is that the poor gets poorer and rich gets richer and similarly the poor country gets poorer and rich country gets richer.
The Prime Minister said that the poor women are the most vulnerable segment of the society and government through Ehasas program wanted to bring them out of the poverty by helping them. He said that China has done remarkably with regard to getting 700 million people out of poverty. He said that all the problems which the earth faces including global warming and environment degradation are because of greed.
The Prime Minister thanked Queen Maxima for visiting Pakistan and taking keen interest in the Ehsaas Program.
While addressing the ceremony, Queen Maxima said Ehsaas Program is a good initiative of the government of Pakistan to lift the people out of poverty. Financial inclusion matter will create more jobs to protect the poor against sickness and drought, besides imparting them with education. This is beneficial for individual families and Pakistan, she added.
She said that only 21 percent of adult Pakistanis have access to formal financing services. There has been an increase but still there is need to do more, she added.
She said that gender gap has also increased with 35 percent men have bank accounts while only 7 percent women have bank accounts. She said clearly there is need to give more attention to it and that is why Ehsaas Program is very important.
She said that implementation of financial inclusion is very important and technology holds strongest promise to make the financial inclusion a reality. "We need canonicity across the country to make it happen, especially smarter phones and regulation for financial technology." She said that there are 33 percent women who have mobile phones as opposed to 74 percent men. She said that to include the women in financial system, there is a need to connect them. She said financial inclusion is also digital inclusion.
She said that she was delighted to launch the ceremony of financial inclusion strategy and this ensures that vital poverty alleviation program BISP brings over six million women to financial inclusion by 2020 and all the beneficiaries would have regular bank accounts. This is just a beginning. She thanked the Prime Minister for showing his support for financial inclusion as a key priority for driving Pakistan towards economic and social development. BISP Chairperson Sania Nishtar also spoke on the occasion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019