LAHORE: Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib said on Monday that the PTI government has strengthened the country's economy through its various wealth generation initiatives.
"The country's foreign remittances today stands at US$29 billion, four percent GDP growth was achieved while the country's exports were increased tremendously," Habib said while speaking at 'Meet the Press' in Lahore Press Club today.
Asking the opposition parties to give up 'childish political approach' on electoral reforms, he said PM Imran Khan invited the opposition parties for a dialogue on electoral reforms from the floor of the National Assembly. Now the opposition has no justification to stay away from the dialogue, he said.
Farrukh Habib maintained that Prime minister Imran Khan would fulfill all promises made with the masses in election manifesto while the PTI government would woo voters in the next general election 2023 on the basis of its five-year performance.
To a question, he said the military leadership had taken into confidence all political leadership on national security.
Talking about the economy, he said that services exports had been catapulted to US$31 billion which stood at US$24 billion in 2018, the PTI government had breathed a new life to the textile industry. "We also provided relief to the textile industry and today it was one of the most thriving sectors of the country while all sectors had witnessed progress under the current government," he said, adding: "PM Imran Khan had introduced 'National Agriculture Transformation Plan' to bring an end to the country's dependence on agriculture imports, adding that the country had to import edible oil and pulses from abroad despite being an agriculture economy."
He said the government is focusing for increasing olive production and Rs1 billion had been earmarked for this purpose. Talking about dearness, he said this was an international phenomenon and was its worst high in other parts of the world, but its impact on Pakistan is not so worse due to the policies of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
About water for agriculture, he said the government had evolved a comprehensive plan to store water for the crops and 13 million acres of agriculture land would be irrigated in the next 10 years through the water reservoirs. About 35 percent work had been completed on Mehmand Dam while Dasu,
Diamir-Bhasha dams would produce 4500 MW electricity.
To another question, he said the PPP government had approached the IMF on eight occasions while the PML-N government had sought IMF help on three occasions in the past.
He said that Rs3412 billion would be given to the province under the NFC with Rs128 billion to be transferred to Sindh province for non-development funds.
He also shed light on 'Kamyab Pakistan Programme' and said this would improve the standards of six million families, interest-free loans of Rs0.5 million would be provided while an easy loan of Rs2 million will be given for building homes.
He said the Ravi Riverfront City would lay the foundation of a new city to meet the future challenges of population and infrastructure. The PTI government was establishing Central Business districts in all major cities including Lahore besides constructing expressway on Nullah Leh, he added.
About providing homes to the journalists, he said that plots would be given to journalists in the LDA City Phase-II, adding that journalists would also be given Insaaf Health Cards and the Punjab government had allocated Rs60 billion for this purpose under which a family could get a treatment of Rs1 million during the year.
To a question, he said the government was working on the Media Development Authority in consultation with all stakeholders. He added that 10,500 applications were received in the Implementation Tribunal for Newspapers Employees (ITNE) but the ratio of decisions was low.
When asked about the Privileges Bill of the Punjab Assembly, he said he had consulted Speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi on the matter, adding that all the controversial sections of the bill be removed.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021