Country on path of uplift after the economic revival, Shibli tells media

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information, Shibli Faraz has said the economy stands revived and the country has been put on the path of development.
Flanked by other cabinet members, the information minister was addressing a news conference about the government’s two years’ performance here on Wednesday.
Shibli Faraz regretted that the opposition parties are trying to create anarchy and spread despondency in the country. He, however, categorically stated that the mafias and those representing them will not be spared under any circumstances.
The information minister said the nation which faced the difficult period steadfastly stands by the government and all the conspiracies will be foiled with their support. He expressed confidence that the fruits of development will reach the masses soon.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Communications Murad Saeed said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision of austerity, accountability, transparency and self-sustainability is being implemented in the projects in letter and spirit.
He said Rs750 million were saved under the austerity drive and over Rs12 billion were recovered through audit under accountability campaign. He said initiatives of introduction of e-billing, e-bidding and procurement, were introduced in the National Highway Authority (NHA) to ensure transparency.
He said revenue of NHA has increased from Rs53 billion to Rs103 billion. Murad Saeed said eight new projects of roads will be launched under public private partnership this year. The minister said several steps have also been taken to improve functioning of postal services.
Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhary said their effort has remained to transform Pakistan into a manufacturing economy by promoting the logo of ‘Made in Pakistan.’ He said Pakistan has become one of the major exporters of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in a matter of six months. He said currently Pakistan is producing 250 ventilators every month and this capacity will be enhanced to 700 in order to enable Pakistan become one of the few countries exporting this sophisticated machine.
The minister for science and technology said his ministry has also set targets for the current year. He said this included development of agricultural farms on modern lines. He said, “Our plan is to establish 500 technology farms and promote non-conventional crops to enhance the agricultural exports.”
The minister said, “Our target is to establish a special economic zone for the electromagnetic industry in Sialkot.” He said Pakistan will start producing more sophisticated machines such as the one used in dialysis this year. He said, “Our target is also to enhance our exports of surgical items to $2billion in one year’s time.”
Fawad Chaudhary said, “We have also envisaged a project to ensure domestic production of agriculture machinery. We also plan to bolster production of different kinds of chemicals in the country to save the foreign exchange currently being spent on their import.”
Presenting performance of his ministry, Minister for Power Omar Ayub said the PTI government has been working to reverse the present energy mix of 70 percent power generation through imported resources. He said the government plans to produce 70 percent of the country’s energy through indigenous means by 2030. He said an Alternative Renewable Energy Policy has been approved by the Council of Common Interests (CCI).
The minister said that projects are being launched on a competitive basis so that people get affordable electricity and several companies are interested to invest in Pakistan under Alternative Renewable Energy Policy, which will also generate several jobs. He said technology will also be transferred to Pakistan.
Terming the agreement with Independent Power Producers (IPPs), Omar Ayub said the project will help generate low cost energy, ultimately benefiting the consumers.
He said work has been underway on four hydro power projects, including Munda Dam, Diamer Bhasha Dam, and Kohala Dam. He said a total of about 7000 megawatts of electricity will be produced through hydro-power projects. He said 15 wind power projects have also been initiated, which will produce 800MW power.
The minister for power said the present government has also worked to improve the electricity transmission system in the country, which was ignored by the previous governments. He said the initiatives taken by the PTI government have led to transmit additional 4500 MW electricity. He said line losses have also been reduced. As part of reforms in energy distribution, Omar Ayub said the government has regularized 8390 employees.
Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination Fahmida Mirza said that after the 18th Amendment in 1973 Constitution, CCI under the “Cooperative Federation” slogan is the main forum to strengthen the federation.
She said her ministry is fully determined for the provision of all basic facilities and conducive environment to the athletes of the country and an anti-doping board is being constituted for the awareness among the players.
She said, “We are also making sincere efforts for the provision of sports facilities in prisons, religious seminaries and other institutions across the country.” The minister said a strategy has been evolved in consultation with provinces for the promotion of tourism in the country.

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