ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday received briefings from the chief secretaries of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh and the chairman of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) on various urban development projects.
According to an official announcement by the PM Office, Mr Khan expressed the hope that the provincial governments would take maximum advantage of the concessions announced by the federal government for the construction sector.
Giving a “new year gift” to those associated with the construction sector, Mr Khan had last week announced that the fixed tax regime for them had been extended by another year till December 2021 and the facility of non-disclosure of source of income while making investment till June 2021. The prime minister had also given one-year extension to construction projects which were supposed to be completed in 2022 and now they can be completed by 2023, the last year of the five-year term of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led government.
During a meeting of the National Committee on Housing, Construction and Development (NCHCD), the premier directed the officials to take care of environment protection while completing the projects. He not only stressed the need for protecting green area, but also called for increasing it.
Mr Khan was of the view that the economy was strengthening with the activities in the construction sector which was also creating employment opportunities.
The chief secretary of KP briefed the meeting about master plans of 11 big cities of the province. He said the master plans of eight tribal districts were also being prepared. He said Rs242 billion had been allocated for various urban development projects in the province and Rs61bn had already been spent by December 2020.
According to the official handout, the chief secretary of Sindh also briefed the meeting about development projects in the province, but “the prime minister expressed his dissatisfaction over the briefing”.
The CDA chairman gave a briefing about various construction projects in Islamabad’s E-11 sector. The participants of the meeting were informed that separate laws had been drafted for the construction in this sector and that the delayed projects would be completed soon.
Earlier, the prime minister during a meeting with KP Chief Minister Mehmood Khan directed the provincial government to ensure sufficient availability of daily use commodities for the masses in the province.
The prime minister appreciated the KP government for taking measures to bring about food security.
Meanwhile, the founding team of popular Turkish drama serial Ertugrul, led by Kemal Tekden, called on the prime minister.
During the meeting, Mr Khan urged Pakistan’s film and drama industry to come up with a quality production to provide the youth with a welcoming Ertugrul-like alternative of substandard and glamourised content.
“If Pakistani film and drama industry presents quality local production, it will not only progress but also provide the youth with alternative of substandard and glamourised content, which will be welcomed like that in the case of Ertugrul,” Mr Khan said, according to the state-run APP.
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Shehryar Afridi and the representatives of Turkish and Pakistan film industries were also present in the meeting.
The meeting discussed a proposed television series based on the role of renowned subcontinental personality Turk Lala in the Khilafat Movement, to be produced through cooperation between Turkey and Pakistan.
The PM said Pakistani dramas had been very popular in the world until the decade of 1980s. He said it was unfortunate that the new generation was not aware of the golden era of the Muslim rule in the sub-continent.
Mr Tekden appreciated the prime minister’s decision of telecasting Turkish dramas in Pakistan.
Published in Dawn, January 8th, 2021