FAISALABAD: State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Mian Farrukh Habib on Saturday said common man’s welfare was the prime focus of Prime Minister Imran Khan that is why he had introduced targeted policies in different sectors to extend maximum relief to the deprived segments of the society.
Addressing his maiden press conference in his hometown after assuming charge of the State Minister for Information and Broadcasting he praised Prime Minister Imran Khan for striving hard to encourage middle class in politics to fight against forces of staus quo.
He said sufficient number of politicians from middle class had entered into the assemblies while Faisalabad has also been given due representation in the federal cabinet.
Regarding Labor Day, he said workers were the most precious asset of Pakistan. “National development is duly linked with the labour class”, he said and added that the government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf was taking due care of this segment.
He said the government has introduced a special initiative under Ehasas programme to facilitate daily wagers affected by the lockdown imposed to curtail spread of COVID-19.
He eulogized the ideology of Prime Minister Imran Khan to announce smart lockdown in view of socioeconomic conditions of the country.
The minister said the export sector was allowed to continue its activities under strict Standard Operating Procedures. Similarly, the construction sector was also partially opened for the mitigation of jobless workforce.
He said this strategy of smart lockdown was appreciated globally as it was not only contained the unemployment but also generated much needed economic activities.
Farrukh Habib said Ehsas Kafalat program was initially launched for four million people but in view of fall-out impact of corona, it’s scope was extended to 12 million population in addition to helping the poor segments living below poverty line.
He further stated Prime Minister Imran Khan realized the miseries of homeless peole and a comprehensive and well-conceived program of “Panahgah” was launched across the country.
He said expatriates also played a pivotal role in the national economy. He mentioned the reservations of Pakistani workers serving in Saudi Arabia and said that the Pakistani ambassador and half of the assembly staff have been called back on the complaints of the Pakistanis.
About EOBI (Employees Old-age Benefit Institute), the State Minister said its total collection was only Rs.17 billion which has now been enhanced to 28 billion. Similarly, the basic pension has been enhanced from Rs. 6000 to Rs. 9000, adding, it help overcome negative impact of inflation.
He was critical of the illogical policies of Ishaq Dar and said the previous government has made Faisalabad a graveyard of textile. However, he said, realizing the importance of this foreign exchange-earning and job creating sector, the Prime Minister announced special textile package for its immediately revival.
Special incentives were offered to five major export sectors with a clear direction to ensure expeditious payment of DLTL, sales tax and other refunds. An energy package was also announced which provided substantial relief to the industrial sector, he said .
He continued that State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) also played a proactive role by offering long term finance at 3-4 percent interest rate.
Existing as well as new startups were fully benefiting from this facility and importing new machineries to upgrade their technologies, he commented. He said improvement in quality would not only help Pakistan to earn more foreign exchange but in return the workforce would also get better salaries.
About recent elections in Karachi, he said that winning candidate got only five percent votes and hence he could not represent the entire constituency.
He criticized the opposition and said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples Party were fighting with each other and hence they failed to play their positive role as a strong and unified opposition.
He said the concept of criticizing the winner has become a fashion in Pakistan, adding, it is time to switch over to e-voting to settle down this issue permanently.
The minister said the government was convincing all opposition parities to sit together and work on election reforms so that reliable and acceptable elections could be ensured without any human intervention through e-voting.
The in-fight of opposition parties has also exposed their vested interests. However, now they must behave positively and show maturity in politics for the restoration of true democracy in the country, he added.
Habib said the expatriate Pakistanis have done a marvelous job by investing one billion dollar in Roshan Digital Account and majority of Pakistani expatriates were also investing in the motherland which would convince other industrialists to setup new industrial units in Pakistan.
He further said expatriates were a major source of providing foreign exchange to the country and for the last 10 months they have sent two billion dollar per month to the country. The foreign investors have also invested 2.5 billion dollar in Euro bonds which showed their confidence in Pakistan’s economy.
He said State Bank of Pakistan has taken prudent measures and despite of devaluation of Pakistani rupee it regained Rs.25 in the money market.
He said the PM has taken innovative steps for revival of the large scale manufacturing sector. Cement sector has recorded historic increase in sale and export while the government was also fully concentrating on agriculture sector and farmers would get additional Rs.500 billion during sale of their wheat crops.
Comparing with Sindh and other provinces, he said rodents ate wheat of approximately Rs.14 billion in Sindh. He said actually Sindh and Karachi were at the mercy of mafias who were plundering its resources.
He said that in these circumstances, Prime Minister Imran Khan was the only hope for 22 million people Pakistanis who were expecting a new era of progress and prosperity.
He further said Prime Minister also created Rs.340 billion new market for construction sector. It would provide houses to the shelter less people belonging to low-income groups.
About health scheme, he said the entire population of KPK has got Insaf Sehat cards while Punjab would also get this facility by the end of this year. Each family would be entitled to get treatment facility up to Rs. one million under this scheme.