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Pakistan

Narrative of sending govt home 'buried' with PDM's demise: Fawad

  • The PDM, he added, was now a relic of the past and the opposition should end the politics of resignations from the assemblies.
Published April 13, 2021 Updated April 14, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said on Tuesday that the opposition's narrative of sending the government home was 'buried' with the demise of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

Addressing a news conference to brief the media about the decisions of Federal Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, he said he had predicted that the alliances not based on any ideology could not remain intact for a long time and the PDM's burial proved him correct as it was formed to protect personal interests.

The PDM, he added, was now a relic of the past and the opposition should end the politics of resignations from the assemblies.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) was against the resignations as it had a stake in the system, and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) should also reconsider their strategy in that regard, the minister said.

He said JUi-F chief Fazlur Rehman told the PPP not to make BAP (Balocjhistan Awami Party) as their father though it was their internal matter.

The PML-N leadership had expelled PPP leaders Sherry Rehman and Qamar Zaman Kaira from the WhatsApp group.

Fawad reiterated the government's offer to the opposition parties to present their proposals for electoral reforms in the Parliament as the treasury benches had already submitted theirs.

The opposition should better shun their ego and cooperate with the government for institutional reforms, he said, adding reformation of the judicial system could be taken up in the next phase.

The minister said the digitalization process of the cabinet had been completed, which would save Rs 510 million per annum. From next week, the cabinet members would get tablets and the agenda would be shared digitally.

He requested to the National Assembly speaker and Senate chairman to expedite the process of making both the houses paperless as early as possible.

Fawad said the cabinet was given a briefing on the on-going COVID-19 situation by Minister for Planning Asad Umar.

It was informed that the third coronavirus phase was more dangerous as critical patients now were 4,200 against 3,200 in the first phase.

Sindh and Balochistan were most affected.

According to the planning minister, the next two weeks were crucial and following precautions were vital, he added.

A logistic committee of the cabinet headed by Shipping Minister Ali Zaidi had been constituted, which would present its representations regarding import of the corona vaccine, the minister said.

The cabinet, he said, also gave approval for the establishment of Central Business District in Lahore, which would comprise two projects - Walton Road of 350 acres and Wahdat Colony of 270 acres.

The work on the public private partnership project would start within 18 months, he added.

The cabinet, the minister, also approved establishment of a registration authority to get geographical indicator tags for Pakistan's agricultural and non-agricultural products to maintain their Pakistani identity.

He said geographical indicator tag for Pakistani mangoes, precious gems, and other products would be acquired for their protection as Pakistani products in the international market.

Fawad said succession certificates used to be a big issue for the overseas Pakistanis as they had to come to Pakistan to get the same from courts.

Now they would get the succession certificates from the country's embassies through the NADRA system, he added.

He said the cabinet approved the proposal of setting up Litigants Facilitation Centre in Islamabad and the Capital Development Authority would build its building.

He said the rules of business had been amended to empower the ministries so that they could make their own decisions.

The minister said the cabinet gave approval to the mid-term budget strategy paper, which was presented before it.

It was informed that exports had reached 18.7 billion dollars mark whereas they stood at17.4 billion dollars last year.

Imports worth 39.5 billion dollars were made the current fiscal year whereas the last year they stood at 34.5 billion dollars, he added.

He said remittances had reached $ 21.5 billion, which was a record and proof of the overseas Pakistanis' trust in the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He said the large scale manufacturing had expanded by 7.9 percent this year.

He said currently the economic growth was 3 percent and it would reach 5.1 per cent by the year 2023-24.

The foreign exchange reserves were now enough for three and a half months requirements, he added.

Fawad said in the coming Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), special additions would be made and disparity in the employees salaries would be addressed.

The cabinet, he said, had approved the deployment of Rangers in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Jehlum and Bahawalpur to maintain law and order situation.

He said the Zaireen Management Policy and reduction in students visa fee were also approved.

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