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Country is to witness a sustainable growth as difficult times are over, says PM Imran


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the government has steered the country out of difficult times and now it will witness sustainable growth and development.
The prime minister said this while addressing a ceremony after performing the ground-breaking for the up-gradation and rehabilitation of 62 kilometres long Lodhran-Multan highway, on Friday. The project will be completed at a cost Rs6.886 billion in two years’ time.
The prime minister said that there will be now wealth generation and people will get job opportunities. On the economic front, he said the people will continue to hear good news.
Imran Khan said the country registered a growth of four percent in the current financial year 2020-21 despite Covid-19 challenge. He said, “We not only saved our people from the pandemic but also the economy.”
The prime minister said the government is focusing on uplifting the agriculture, industries, IT, housing and tourism to take forward the country. He said a package is being brought for the farmers to bring green revolution in the country.
The prime minister said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project has entered the next phase of industrialisation wherein Chinese companies will relocate their industries in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) of Pakistan. He said, “We are building ten dams as part of efforts to enhance our water storage capacity. To protect the future of our coming generations, we are planting ten billion trees.”
Imran Khan said the government has given unprecedented incentives to the construction industry and as a result of which the cement sale has reached record levels.
Regarding the affordable houses for the people under Naya Pakistan Housing Programme, the prime minister said the people have shown great interest in taking soft loans from the banks for construction of houses. He said the banks have so far received loan demands of Rs60 billion. He said the government also has a plan to establish such financial institutions which only provide loans for the construction of houses.
The prime minister said, “We have waged a struggle to purge the society of different mafias, who only work for their vested interests. Our struggle is aimed at ensuring rule of law in the country as no society can progress without bringing the powerful people under the umbrella of law.
Coming down hard on opposition parties, the prime minister said those who call themselves democratic are seeking the military’s help to topple his government. “They call themselves democratic but talk about overthrowing an elected government. They [the opposition] openly asked the army to overthrow my government,” the premier lamented.
In his remarks, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said three districts of South Punjab including Bahawalpur, Lodhran and Multan will greatly benefit from the up-gradation project.
He said this will reduce the travel time between Bahawalpur and Multan to only 45 minutes. He said it is the first time that a separate development fund is being allocated for South Punjab from the budget of Punjab.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Communications Murad Saeed said the present government has completed road infrastructure of 1,753 kilometres in its two-and-a-half years tenure and there is a plan to start work on another 6,118 kilometres of roads this year.
He said that ground-breaking of Sialkot-Kharian motorway will be performed in the next ten days. Approval has also been given for Kharian-Rawalpindi motorway and this project will be started in three months.
Murad Saeed said that the present government-initiated work on the western route of the CPEC which will bring prosperity in the underdeveloped areas of the country. He said, “We have increased the revenue of National Highway Authority by Rs72 billion.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has appealed to the world community to come together to protect the ecosystem and environment for coming generations.
Virtually addressing the launch of the Gala for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration on Friday, the prime minister said that rapidly depleting tree cover and degradation of the environment need to be stopped.
Highlighting Pakistan’s contribution in protecting the environment, the prime minister said, “We have completed the Billion Tree Tsunami project and now we are pursuing another target of growing ten billion trees.” He said his government has also started another ambitious programme of increasing national parks in the country and so far nine such facilities have been established in various parts of the country.
Khan said the government is also focusing on increasing mangroves cover, which conserves the greatest amount of oxygen. He said, “We also want to restore our wetlands by using floodwater to raise the water table and replenish the aquifer.”
The prime minister expressed the hope to create green jobs for youth, especially women. He said, “We managed to give 80,000 green jobs to our people, especially women, in remote areas, where they plant nurseries.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan is hosting World Environment Day in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme today (Saturday).
This year’s observance of World Environment Day will be on the theme of “ecosystem restoration” and focus on resetting our relation with nature. The day will be celebrated across the world through various events and activities, in line with latest Covid-19 regulations.
As host of World Environment Day, Pakistan will highlight environmental issues and showcase the country’s own initiatives and its role in global efforts.
Led by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan is fully committed to playing a leadership role in addressing the issue of climate change through various projects and initiatives. The day will also mark the formal launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030.
The UN Decade is intended to massively scale up the restoration of degraded and destroyed ecosystems to fight the climate crisis, prevent the loss of a million species and enhance food security, water supply and livelihoods.
Major corporations, non-governmental organizations, communities, governments and celebrities from across the world adopt the World Environment Day to champion environmental causes. Held annually since 1974, the day has also become a vital platform for promoting progress on the environmental dimensions of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the federal government will play its due role to fulfil developmental needs of the people of Sindh.
Talking to a delegation of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) on Friday, the prime minister said that Karachi is an economic hub and its development is imperative for the progress of the country.
The prime minister assured the delegation that development needs of Karachi and Hyderabad will be considered in the upcoming budget preparation. He said that harmonised coordination between the coalition parties will play a pivotal role in solving problems of the people of Sindh, especially Karachi.
The delegation members reiterated their support for the budget and presented their suggestions. Governor Sindh Imran Ismail was also present in the meeting.
Meanwhile, the members of National Assembly and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders belonging to different areas of the country called on Prime Minister Imran Khan and discussed the overall political situation and matters pertaining to their constituencies.
Those who called on the Prime Minister included Special Assistant on Political Affairs Malik Amir Dogar, Minister for Economic Affairs Umar Ayub Khan, MNA Muhammad Shafiq Arain, Nawab Amanullah Khan, Dr Sher Muhammad Awan, Iffat Tahira Soomro, Shanila Roth, Nusrat Wahid, Riaz Fatyana and Ghulam Bibi Bharwana.
Minister for Economic Affairs Umar Ayub Khan discussed the progress on development schemes in Haripur.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Imran Khan commended the proposals pertaining to promotion of tourism, provision of low-cost houses and establishment of a digital city in Haripur. He directed to complete the ongoing projects in the stipulated period. – TLTP