ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that after attaining what he called “stability” in the economy, his government’s next target was to increase exports and cut imports to save foreign exchange and create wealth that would bring prosperity to the country.
He stressed the need for manufacturing all sorts of products at the local level so that people could rely on locally-made items instead of imported products.
“If we can make a nuclear weapon, then why not ordinary products,” the prime minister said while addressing the closing ceremony of a three-day ICEE (Interior, Construction, Electrical and Electronics) Expo, titled ‘Building Clean and Green Cities’, organised by the Rawalpindi Chamber of Conference and Industries (RCCI) in collaboration with the Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority (NAPHDA) here at the Pak-China Friendship Centre.
The prime minister said the government had taken steps to increase the country’s exports. “A country cannot progress till its current account deficit is overcome and its financial resources are not expanding. If wealth creation is not achieved, it can chock the country’s economy,” he added.
Calls for local manufacturing of all products
He said the government was fully committed to encouraging and facilitating different sectors of economy for the purpose of wealth creation to permanently overcome the country’s financial challenges.
He said the government was vigorously implementing its plans to promote the construction industry and incentivise the exports sector because when the economy moved on revenues were generated, leading to jobs creation and prosperity.
On his vision for Naya Pakistan, PM Khan said his first priority was to pull the people from poverty as about 25 per cent of the country’s population lived under the poverty line, whereas another chunk of some 25pc lived on the margins of this line.
Underling the need for becoming self-reliant, he said that when a system became corrupt, it ultimately putrefied society. “It is called a system of corruption,” he observed.
The government, he said, would launch Kamyab Pakistan programme on Aug 9, under which the underprivileged families would be facilitated with technical education and extension of interest-free loans. “One member from each poor family would get technical education, each family would get health card with one million worth of free of cost treatment facility; besides through micro-financing, they would be given interest-free loans for construction of homes,” he added.
The prime minister said that due to lack of planning and consideration by the past rulers, katchi abadis (shanty settlements) have sprawled across the country. “Karachi alone consists of 40pc katchi abadis,” he added.
About the government’s initiatives to counter effects of global warming and climate change, he said the ‘Ten Billion Tree Tsunami’ project was an endeavour in this regard. He regretted that Rawalpindi had turned into a city of concrete slabs. In 1914 the city had received snowfall. Lahore and Peshawar were famed as cities of gardens, but all the country’s major cities were now expanding at a rapid speed, he said.
Punjab, Balochistan CMs meet PM
Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar called on Prime Minister Khan and discussed with the latter progress on the ongoing development projects in the province. Over 4,000 development projects approved at district and divisional levels also came under discussion.
Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Alyani also met PM Khan and discussed with the latter matters relating to development projects in the province.
Published in Dawn, August 3rd, 2021