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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan's targets for 2021 are to provide universal health coverage for all citizens through Sehat Sahulat Program, and the "Koi Pakistani Bhoka Na Soye" (no Pakistani should go to bed hungry) programme to be launched soon under the Ehsaas Program.

The Prime Minister's Office said on Monday that the government's achievements on the economic front were $1.6 billion surplus current account during July-November 2020-21, followed by $11.8 billion remittances, up by 27 percent in July-November, $12.1 billion exports during July-December reflecting five percent increase, and 6.7 percent growth in Large Scale Manufacturing (July-October) as well as foreign exchange reserves over $13 billion.

According to the Prime Minister's Office, the textile industry is operating at full capacity and 80,000 power looms have been opened with 50,000 old re-opened, 30,000 new ones, and the cement industry is operating at full capacity, witnessing record orders, whereas, vehicle, motorbikes, and rickshaw sales are increasing.

Tax revenue is rising and energy relief package for industries to encourage exports for sustainable economic growth, it added.

The Prime Minister's Office added that 2020 initiatives in response to the Covid, first ever NSC meeting on Public Health; (ii) NCOC formed to serve as nerve centre; (iii) Rs1.2 trillion COVID Relief Package, Rs180 billion disbursed through Ehsaas Emergency Cash, multiple other economic stimulus measures; (iv) smart lockdown; (v) construction industry package to ensure employment for daily wagers, and response acknowledged by the WHO as one of the best.

The Prime Minister's Office also maintained that development projects included Naya Pakistan Housing 20,000 housing units worth Rs100 billion inaugurated by the prime minister, Allama Iqbal Industrial City Faisalabad groundbreaking, BRT inauguration, Karachi Transformation Plan - Karachi Package, Ravi Urban Development Project, decades after Mangla and Tarbela, construction of two large dams, Diamer-Basha and Mohmand, is well underway, Azad Pattan and Kohala Hydropower Projects, Mohmand-Sheikh Zayed Road inaugurated, and Special Economic Zones initiated under the CPEC. Additionally, the government projects also included Quaid-i-Azam Business Park Sheikhupura, Balochistan and Sindh High Speed Broadband Project, and Chakwal Northern Bypass.

The Prime Minister's Office said that under the health measures Sehat Sahulat Card (Rs1 million a year health coverage for every family, can be availed at both public and private hospitals) for entire Punjab (end of year 2021), entire KP including ex-FATA merged districts (end of Jan 2021), and entire AJK and GB.

Also for police, lawyers, transgenders etc; (ii) indigenous production of medical equipment including ventilators and cardiac stents launched; (iii) Isolation Hospital and Infectious Treatment Centre (IHITC) inaugurated in Islamabad; (iv) Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar- Medical, Surgical and Allied Services Block inaugurated; (v) DHQ Hafizabad groundbreaking; (vi) DHQ Chakwal groundbreaking; and (vii) 250-bed Peshawar Institute of Cardiology inaugurated.

The initiatives in education sector included, single National Curriculum finalised, the University of Hafizabad groundbreaking, University of Chakwal groundbreaking, Pak-Austria Facchochschule Institute inaugurated in Haripur, Namal Knowledge City Phase-1 groundbreaking, Sialkot University of Applied Engineering and Technology groundbreaking, and SNC to be completely rolled out by 2023.

On foreign policy front, Qatar and Malaysia visits by the prime minister, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres visit to Pakistan, UNGA President Volkan Bozkir visit to Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan's maiden visit to Kabul, continued role in Afghan Peace Process, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar visit to Pakistan, Taliban Political Commission visit to Pakistan, Abdullah Abdullah visit to Pakistan, UNGA address by PM and multiple sidelines events on climate, money laundering and COVID, and Pakistan's re-election to the UNHRC

The government observed February 5 - Kashmir Solidarity Day, July 13 - Kashmir Martyrs Day, August 5 - Kashmir Youm-i-Istehsal, October 27 - Kashmir Black Day, and the prime minister addressed the Kashmir Legislative Assembly twice.

The initiatives for a Welfare State/Riyasat-e-Madina included; (i) Ehsaas Kafaalat, one Woman One Account (seven million families to benefit) - Special Persons (two million families to benefit); (ii) Ehsaas Amdan Program; (iii) Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarships distribution; (iv)Ehsaas Nashonuma to fight stunted growth; (v) Rs180 billion disbursed during COVID to 15 million families transparently.

The initiatives for climate included; (i) largest forest of Pakistan in Kundian, Mianwali launched with 250 million trees target; (ii) Green Stimulus Package to provide employment and combat climate change as well monsoon tree plantation campaign; (iii) Largest tree plantation drive in Pakistan's history - 3.5 million trees planted on August 9th; (iv) Billion Tree Honey Initiative, (v) Protected Areas Initiative; (vi) Clean Green Index awards; (vii) Travel Responsibly for Eco-tourism in KP (TREK) Initiative launched; (viii) Locust Crisis tackled successfully; (xi) UN biodiversity Summit, Austrian World Summit and Climate Ambition Summit addressed by PM Imran Khan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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