Says reforms underway to improve tax system.
Calls for tapping existing tourism potential in GB.
Wants quality of shelter homes, facilities improved
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said the government was responsible for judicious utilisation of taxpayers’ money, especially on development projects, and stressed the need for digitising departments to curb the menace of corruption.
“It is the government’s prime responsibility to ensure correct utilisation of taxpayers’ money and implementation of electronic systems to help eliminate corruption,” the prime minister said while presiding over a meeting on effective utilisation of the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).
Federal ministers Hammad Azhar, Asad Umer, Murad Saeed, Omar Ayub, special assistants Malik Amin Aslam and Dr Faisal Sultan as well as senior officials attended the meeting. Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin attended via video link.
“Reforms are underway for improving tax system and consultation with all stakeholders will bring further improvement and fast track the process,” the prime minister added.
Mr Khan directed federal ministers to maintain regular contact with all stakeholders for soliciting proposals and resolution of issues.
He said the government was focusing on resolving issues faced by the business community in a consultative manner, adding that “a comprehensive plan had been prepared for effective implementation and monitoring of development spending after increasing 40 per cent allocations for projects in financial year 2021-22”.
The meeting was informed that a flexible system had been devised to simplify release of funds to fast-track implementation of uplift schemes and that the ministries had been empowered to meet demands relating to release of funds according to their requirements.
It was told that in the last fiscal year, the rate of expenditure remained at 104pc which showed significant progression in development spending.
PM Khan was informed that inter-ministerial and inter-sectoral monitoring resulted in utilisation of funds amounting to Rs140 billion that were diverted to major projects of national importance thereby resulting in saving of taxpayers’ money and eliminating wastage.
He was further told that the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives was constantly monitoring the implementation of projects to ensure effective and timely utilisation of funds and that the Planning Commission had gone completely online and PC-I and PC-II documents were no longer accepted in hard print form.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, while presiding over the 12th session of the Gilgit-Baltistan Council, directed that financial resources be allocated on the basis of prioritisation of projects.
The council approved issuance of policy directive regarding release of next generation mobile services spectrum for improvement of mobile broadband services.
In order to conduct election of six elected members of the GB Council, the meeting approved Gilgit-Baltistan Council (Election) Rules, 2021.
The meeting gave consent to the appointment of District and Sessions Judge Ghizer Minhas Hussain as judge Banking and Customs Court Gilgit-Baltistan and also assigned him the additional charge of judge National Accountability Court GB.
Steps taken to exploit and promote tourism potential in the region also came under discussion.
The prime minister underscored the need to focus on tapping the existing potential, setting up modern infrastructure and training the local community to cater to the needs of tourists.
He observed that such measures would not only help tourism flourish in the area but also provide the local community with better economic opportunities.
PM meets special assistant
During a meeting with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Security Dr Sania Nishtar, PM Khan directed that the quality of government’s shelter homes and facilities available there should be improved.
Dr Nishtar briefed the prime minister on the next six months’ initiatives to be launched under Ehsaas programme.
The prime minister also met Punjab Irrigation Minister Mohsin Leghari who called on him.
They discussed issues relating to ongoing irrigation projects in the province, construction of Jalalpur Canal on Jhelum River, harnessing water resources of hill torrents of Koh-i-Suleman in Dera Ghazi Khan, construction of Daducha Dam to solve drinking water issue in Rawalpindi, construction of Chobara branch of Greater Thal Canal and measures to control traffic accidents on Indus Highway.
Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2021