ISLAMABAD: The Prime Minister Office (PMO) on Monday highlighted the “achievements” of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government during the year 2020 amid adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on economy, health, education, development and social life of the citizens.
Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed satisfaction over what he said the outstanding recovery of plundered wealth by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and called it “a result of the government’s policy under which state institutions were working independently.”
The PMO made public a brief sketch on steps taken by the government in different sectors starting from health, especially to combat coronavirus that has claimed over 10,000 lives in the country.
An official statement said in the health sector the first ever National Security Council (NSC) meeting on public health was held, National Command and Operation Centre formed to serve as a nerve centre, Rs1.2 trillion Covid relief package was announced and Rs180 billion were disbursed through Ehsaas Emergency Cash.
Besides other economic stimulus measures, the construction industry was given a package to ensure employment for daily wage workers.
On the welfare side, Ehsaas Kafaalat programme for seven million women and two million special persons, Ehsaas Amdan, Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarships and Ehsaas Nashonuma programmes were also launched.
In the health sector, Sehat Sahulat Card (Rs1 million health coverage for every family to get treatment at both public and private hospitals) for entire Punjab (end of year 2021), KP, including the merged districts (end of Jan 2021), AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan and also for police, lawyers and transgenders were introduced.
Indigenous production of medical equipment, including ventilators and cardiac stents, was made while the Isolation Hospital and Infectious Treatment Centre (IHITC) was inaugurated in Islamabad, Medical, Surgical and Allied Services Block opened at Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar; groundbreaking of DHQ hospital Hafizabad and DHQ hospital Chakwal was conducted and a 250-bed Peshawar Institute of Cardiology was inaugurated.
In the education sector, a single national curriculum was finalised; groundbreaking of University of Hafizabad, University of Chakwal, Namal Knowledge City Phase 1 and Sialkot University of Applied Engineering and Technology was made and Pak-Austria Facchochschule Institute was inaugurated in Haripur.
On climate side, a project for largest forest of Pakistan in Kundian, Mianwali, was launched with 250 million trees target; Green Stimulus Package was announced to provide employment and combat climate change and under the monsoon tree plantation campaign 3.5 million trees were planted. Billion Tree Honey Initiative, Protected Areas Initiative and Clean Green Index awards were also included among the projects.Projects on development side included Naya Pakistan Housing for 20,000 housing units worth Rs100 billion, Allama Iqbal Industrial City Faisalabad, Bus Road Transport, Karachi Transformation Plan - Karachi Package, Ravi Urban Development Project and construction of Diamer-Basha and Mohmand dams, Azad Pattan and Kohala Hydropower projects, Mohmand-Sheikh Zayed Road and Special Economic Zones under CPEC.
On economy, the current account balance (July-Nov) remained $1.6 billion surplus in 2020 against $7.2 billion deficit in the year 2018; remittances (July-Nov 2020) remained $11.8 billion, exports (July-Dec 2020) remained $12.1 billion, large scale manufacturing (July-Oct) remained at 6.7 per cent high, foreign exchange reserves crossed $13 billion mark, highest since February 2018; the textile industry operating at full capacity, 80,000 power looms were opened (50,000 old reopened, 30,000 new ones).
Moreover, the cement industry is operating at full capacity, it added.
Published in Dawn, Jannuary 5th, 2021