Strategy in the works to create wealth, jobs, says PM

Updated 19 Nov 2020

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FAISALABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan interacts with factory workers on Wednesday. — PPI
FAISALABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan interacts with factory workers on Wednesday. — PPI

• Asks industrialists to invest without hesitation, improve workers’ wages
• Says automation at FBR to stop human interaction, harassment
• Claims new LG system to ensure development in all districts

FAISALABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan says the government is trying to promote industrialisation in the country which will ultimately help create wealth and generate jobs, paving the way for getting rid of foreign debt.

Addressing a select gathering of industrialists and traders at a hotel here on Wednesday, he said industrialisation in Pakistan would increase export and “we are working for ease of doing business to create jobs and eliminate poverty”.

The premier said: “We are going for automation at the FBR to stop human interaction and [alleged] harassment and have given incentives to exporters and ultimately our exports have surged by the grace of God.”

He said poverty had increased in India and, on the contrary, “our decisions secured the economy, industry and people as well and I pay tribute to my team of National Command and Operation Centre which kept feeding us on Covid-19”.

He said [Industries Minister] Hammad Azhar, the State Bank of Pakistan governor and others worked hard to keep the economy secure from the impact of coronavirus.

The prime minister warned the participants to use mask as the country is hit by the second wave of Covid-19.

He said the situation was worst in Faisalabad when power loom units were being closed. However, he said, he had been informed that [now] the industrialists were facing shortage of workforce. He asked Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to establish institutions for producing skilled manpower for the industry.

PM Khan asked the industrialists to invest without hesitation as the government would facilitate and help them so that wealth and jobs could be created.

“We would keep getting input from the industrialists for development. The construction industry is about to take off as we have also announced a package for the first time for it,” he said, adding that the State Bank had never extended any help to the industry and the construction sector which it has done now.

The premier asked the industrialists to improve wages of workers.

When a participant demanded establishment of a Lahore High Court bench in Faisalabad, Mr Khan said the bench should be at all divisional levels to ensure justice at the doorstep of masses and it was a responsibility of the government to ensure facilities for public.

Talking about the local government elections, the prime minister said the old local bodies system failed to deliver and the government was going to introduce a system which would ensure development in all districts. He said the mayor would be elected through a direct ballot and then he (mayor) would elect his cabinet.

“Developed cities across the globe like New York, Tehran and London are being run like a country and their mayors play a key role,” he added.

“If we spend hefty budget on Lahore from the provincial development funds then this approach will leave other districts far behind,” he said, adding that the government would spend on all districts.

He said roads of Faisalabad would be improved soon and similarly a mega project for Karachi would also be implemented.

Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, Minister of Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar were also present on the occasion.

Published in Dawn, November 19th, 2020