Businessmen upbeat after meeting army chief: minister

Updated October 07, 2019

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Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar says all state institutions are on the same page to achieve national objectives. — DawnNewsTV/File
Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar says all state institutions are on the same page to achieve national objectives. — DawnNewsTV/File

LAHORE: Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar has said that businessmen who recently met the army chief to share their reported concerns on the economic conditions, are upbeat after their meeting with Gen Bajwa.

Speaking at a ceremony to distribute health cards here on Sunday, he said the businessmen had come out happy after a useful conversation with Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa as the COAS assured them that no one would be allowed to jeopardise the national stability.

The minister said that at present all state institutions were on the same page and in harmony to achieve national objectives.

Hammad says all state institutions are on the same page to achieve national objectives

Assuaging concerns about the national economy, the minister said that the goal of stabilising economy had been achieved as was evident from stability in the value of rupee against dollar and now the economy would move towards the growth phase.

This growth, he said, won’t be based on loans, subsidies and imports rather on employment, investment and agriculture.

He said all state institutions would jointly make Pakistan a great country to live in the next five years.

Criticising policies of the past governments, Mr Azhar said when the PTI came to power it inherited a massive debt and had to fulfil immediate commitments of more than $10 billion in loan repayments and debt servicing.

He said tough economic decisions taken so far by the government were now showing positive impact as foreign exchange reserves and the rupee value were stable.

Referring to increase in power tariff, the minister said it was unavoidable because of huge circular debt in the sector. He said the current account deficit had also been reduced by preventing electricity pilferage amounting to Rs82 billion.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Ehsaas programme was a major initiative for poverty alleviation and a role model for the world.

Funds for Ehsaas programme had been increased from Rs100 billion to Rs190 billion, he said, adding that ration cards would also be issued to deserving people in near future.

The minister said that health cards were part of the Ehsaas programme that would provide health facilities to every deserving family without discrimination.

Published in Dawn, October 7th, 2019