Imran launches Rs5tr Ravi City project

Updated 08 Aug 2020

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PM Imran Khan asks bureaucracy to check corruption. — DawnNewsTV
PM Imran Khan asks bureaucracy to check corruption. — DawnNewsTV

LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan has again asked the civil and police bureaucracy to improve governance and root out corruption as it is damaging the country’s economy beyond repair.

“Corruption begins from elite segment of a society,” he said while speaking to the civil and police bureaucracy at the CM secretariat through video link.

Reiterating that there would be no political pressure on bureaucracy, the prime minister said the officers should work on merit and introduce carrot and stick policy in their respective departments. “I will stand by the officers who work on merit.”

Mr Khan said the government had given maximum perks and privileges and allowances to the bureaucracy and now it was their turn to deliver and give results. He lauded the Punjab government for taking appropriate and effective measures to control the spread of coronavirus in the province.

At the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Ravi City project, the prime minister said the PTI government had spent its first two years under most trying times as it had to save the country from default and from the corrupt scampering for an NRO. “They even offered support to the government for the passage of FATF bill as well as the Kashmir issue in return for an NRO,” he added.

He said the Rs5 trillion Ravi City project would create millions of jobs as there were 40 industries connected to the construction sector.

PM asks bureaucracy to check corruption

Asserting that failure is not an option, PM Khan said there might come a lot of resistance and roadblocks but the team working on the project should focus on timelines and execute the historical and landmark project. He said the wealth created from development projects would be spent on education and health of people, which was the core objective of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.

He also chided the PML-N’s previous government for launching metro bus and train projects that were to offer further Rs28 billion subsidies.

Later, the prime minister tweeted: “Today I felt great excitement in doing stone laying of Ravi City, one of the biggest mega projects we have launched in our history. This will save Lahore by stopping spread of unplanned urban sprawl, raise water table and revive river Ravi, preventing it from becoming a sewerage nala”.

He said waste water would be treated and released into the Ravi to improve ground water table. He said a forest area had been earmarked to plant some six million trees to turn around the environment quality in Lahore.

He said the project would help bring in foreign exchange through overseas Pakistanis investment in the project, adding that the money lying within the country (but out of formal economy) could also be utilised till December 30 this year.

The prime minister earlier held an exclusive meeting with Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and MNAs from Faisalabad. At the meeting, MNAs piled complaints about the scarcity of clean drinking water, sewerage system upgrade, repair of roads and other civil amenities.

MNA Raja Riaz told the prime minister that police corruption level had increased in Faisalabad three times and there was no governance to check increase in prices of essential items, including wheat flour and sugar. He complained that Lahore Wasa (Water and Sanitation Authority) was getting funds of Rs2.2 billion, but Faisalabad Wasa was running its affairs with a meagre Rs262 million budget.

The prime minister directed the chief minister to resolve all issues being faced by the people of Faisalabad. He also directed the chief minister to visit Faisalabad next week and resolve issues and said the federal government would support in case of financial constraints.

The prime minister also chaired a meeting to review reforms in the education sector in Punjab and asserted that a uniform education system alone would end the class system in society.

The prime minister was accompanied by federal ministers Shibli Faraz, Shafqat Mahmood, Hammad Azhar, PM’s advisor Mirza Shahzad Akbar and Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority chairman retired Lt Gen Anwar Ali Haider.

Punjab Chief Secretary Jawad Rafique Malik, IGP Shoaib Dastgir and other senior bureaucrats were present in a meeting with the prime minister.

Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2020