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LAHORE: Special Assistant to Chief Minister Punjab for Information and Spokesperson Government of the Punjab Hasaan Khawar said on Thursday the government is focusing on self-reliance by pulling the country back from debt.

“We have successfully reduced the net annual increase in debt from Rs4.5 billion to Rs2.5 billion,” Khawar said, while talking to media today. He maintained that the current IMF programme in Pakistan is not the first of its kind; from 1958 till today, IMF has given some 22 programmes to Pakistan.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the government has taken difficult decisions to successfully turn around the Titanic of IMF, henceforth, rendered irreversible by previous regimes, he said. He advised the people to avoid political magicians in the guise of economic doctors, furthering baseless tricks.

The PML-N leader maintained that the PML-N government departed from government in 2018 with annual revenue at Rs3800 billion. Today, the revenue of only six months of the current fiscal year is Rs6000 billion. Remittances have jumped up from 20 billion to 30 billion, and foreign exchange reserves are at US$22 billion today, as compared to US$7 billion in the past.

With the arrival of elder brother, Shehbaz Sharif’s status in the party will end, he added. He further said that the deep rooted hereditary politics of Bilawal and Maryam, utterly devoid of any democratic essence, is an X-ray of our national politics.

Commenting on the Health Card initiative, Khawar said that the facility of indiscriminate treatment to some 30 million families of Punjab in private hospitals is in line with the ideology of ‘Riyasat-e-Madinah’ for which Rs400 billion have been allocated. He said that a network of development projects was being laid in Punjab. Other projects, such as new dams, roads’ network, Kisan Card etc., testify to the fact that the economy is recovering.

Answering questions regarding the Murree tragedy, he said that details were being ascertained in the inquiry. Effective planning is being done for tourist load shedding and relief at Murree while work is also being done on alternate tourist destinations, he added.

He said that steps were also being taken to regulate private investment in tourism. In the past, laws in this regard were not regulated or modernized. “We are increasing the regulatory capacity of the state,” he said. Replying to a question, Hasaan Khawar said that action would be taken against the hotels charging extra and recovery would be made from them.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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