Creation of wealth imperative to end poverty in country, says Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has termed creation of wealth imperative for alleviating poverty from the country, saying businesses must prosper to achieve this objective. “We are taking measures to ensure conducive atmosphere for the business community,” the premier said while addressing the Pakistan Economic Forum in Islamabad on Thursday. “If businesses prosper, poverty will be alleviated.”
PM Imran added, “We need to dispel the notion that creation of wealth is inappropriate; it can, in fact, help eliminate the scourge of poverty.”
“The days ahead will bring more convenience and opportunities for the investors,” he said. “We must provide secure environment to the businessmen.”
The premier termed self-reliance absolutely imperative in order to free the country from dependence on others. “The examples of China and other countries can be followed in this regard.”
“Pakistan has a shocking level of poverty,” he said. “We are going to introduce coordination ‘poverty alleviation programme’, the first of its kind.”
He further said the government will make all out efforts to seize the smuggling of dollars.
Agencies add: Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday directed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senators to keep the senate abreast of all government steps.
He was talking to a delegation of PTI senators from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa led by Leader of the House in the Senate Shibli Faraz that called on him in Islamabad.
The prime minister directed them to play their active role in the Upper House regarding the reforms, development projects and planning of the government in various sectors.
Last week, PM Khan summoned a special session of his cabinet to review performance of the federal ministers on an individual level.
The meeting was chaired by PM Imran to scrutinize his cabinet’s progress. The federal ministers and secretaries were in attendance at the session. Imran termed their performance as satisfactory.
The meeting went on for nearly nine hours to review the progress of 26 ministries during their first 100 days.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed preparation of a comprehensive plan to simplify procedures related to government approvals, addressing taxation issues, dispute resolution and facilitating investors and businesses.
He was chairing a high level meeting to review progress on improving ease of doing business and creating an enabling environment to facilitate conversion of interest of the local as well foreign investors into actual investments in the country.
Chairman Board of Investment Haroon Sharif briefed the meeting that efforts are being to revive confidence of the private sector in government policies and put in place a framework that facilitates business community in its business pursuits.
The Chairman said BOI acts as agent of change to facilitating business transactions, removing impediments in way to materialization of investors’ interest into actual investments and smooth functioning of the businesses in the country.
He also briefed the Prime Minister about various issues being faced by the business community including taxation, access to finance, regulation and policy issues and red-tapism.
Haroon Sharif said BoI is also actively working with the provinces and relevant ministries for removing barriers in the way of establishing Special Economic Zones.
He also informed the Prime Minister about Naya Pakistan Diaspora Fund which is being set-up to promote SMEs and rural development in key areas of education, health and infrastructure development.
He apprised the Prime Minister of the Investment Framework which has been structured for attracting and materializing investment from UAE, Saudi Arabia, China, Japan and Malaysia.
It was decided during the meeting that Prime Minister would chair a review meeting every month on Ease of Doing Business in the country.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan today approved a proposal for bringing Shuhuda Assistance Package for ICT Police personnel at par with other parts of the country.
The Prime Minister has also approved provision of Sehat Insaaf Cards to the Police personnel for catering to their health needs.
The Prime Minister was chairing a briefing about the performance of Islamabad Capital Territory Police and the way forward in transforming ICT Police into a model police force.
The briefing was attended by Finance Minister Asad Umar, MoS for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi, SAPM Ali Nawaz Awan, MNA Raja Khurram Shahzad Nawaz, Secretary Interior Maj (Retd) Azam Suleman Khan, Secretary Establishment, Chief Commissioner, IG Islamabad and senior officials.
The Prime Minister while appreciating the efforts of ICT Police towards maintenance of law and order and ensuring security of the capital directed that a comprehensive plan be submitted for meeting the requirements of ICT Police.
He assured that the Government would provide every possible support to ICT Police in its mission to serve the people and emerge as a model Police force. The Prime Minister also appreciated employment of IT solutions by the ICT Police for improving service delivery and reaching out to the public for their feedback on its performance.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday chaired a briefing on health reforms being undertaken in Islamabad Capital Territory, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, at PM Office.
Federal Minister for Health Aamer Mehmood Kiani, Adviser to Prime Minister Mohammad Shehzad Arbab, Minister for Health Punjab Dr. Yasmin Rashid, Minister for Health Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Dr. Hisham Inamullah Khan, Federal & Provincial Secretaries Health and other senior government officials were present during the meeting.
Federal Secretary Health briefed the meeting on the National Action Plan for NHSR&C (2019-25), and Islamabad Capital Health Strategy NHSR&C Strategic Plan in the backdrop of abolition of CADD and transferred health service delivery in ICT area to Ministry of NHSR&C.
The main objective of the National Action Plan is to identify strategic areas and actions to overcome health challenges through holistic initiatives in health governance, financing, access to essential package of health services, expansion and capacity building of human resources for health, quality of health, adherence to international health regulations and ensuring continuous research and innovation in the healthcare.
Federal Secretary Health informed the meeting that for the last 55 years, the hospital beds capacity in the ICT hospitals remained stagnant to 2000 beds only; under the new Capital Health Strategy, this capacity is being doubled to 4000 beds in a span of five years in the ICT area.
Moreover, a state-of-the-art Cancer Hospital with 200 beds in ICT, a General Hospital at Tarlai having 200 beds, three Mother Child Hospitals with total 120 beds capacity at Bara Kahu, Rawat and Tarnol are being established and upgraded while refurbishment & upgradation of all Rural
Health Centres and Basic Health Units will be done by June 2020, the meeting was further informed.
The Federal Secretary Health also briefed that in order to address the issue of shortage of health workforce, particularly the nursing staff, recruitment is in process in all hospitals along with establishment of nursing & associated medical sciences university in ICT.
Minister for Health Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Dr. Hisham Inamullah Khan briefed the meeting on the reforms introduced by the provincial Health Ministry during the last 100 days in terms of expansion of Sehat Insaf Cards, assessment of inputs in all health facilities according to new services package, preparation to establish HR Unit in the Health Department & Strengthening of HCC, achievement of 95% measles immunization coverage in the province, inception of community based complaints and grievance management system & media cell, procurement of MIS & inventory management system, release of GBP 3.2 million for achieving 100% targets set by DFID and an additional GBP 3.2 million for drafting KP Health Policy, amendment of MTI Act, policies on quality of medicines and initiation of Public Private Partnerships with pharmaceutical companies to provide free care to around 0.5 million patients for four
non-communicable diseases.
Minister for Health Punjab Dr. Yasmin Rashid briefed the meeting that the Punjab Health Department is going to issue Sehat Insaf Cards in four districts namely D.G. Khan, Rajanpur, Lodhran and Multan by the end of December 2018. The Minister further informed the meeting that five Mother & Child Hospitals are being established in the province along with nursing college.
Dr. Yasmin Rashid further informed the meeting about the steps being taken for strengthening and capacity building of human resource and measures for prioritizing healthcare projects across the province according to the needs of the ordinary people.
Prime Minister Imran Khan directed to identify all the bottlenecks related to administrative and legislative matters in reforming the health sector. The Prime Minister stressed on the need to remove those practices that have resulted in the decay of health services and hindered the provision of quality healthcare to the ordinary people.
The Prime Minister also highlighted the significance of state-of-the-art laboratories and a comprehensive mechanism to check the food contamination leading to stunted growth and other health hazards in coordination with the concerned authorities at the federal and provincial levels.
The meeting was informed that Islamabad Public Health Management Authority is being established according to the recommendation of Task Force on Health. The Prime Minister observed that health management has remained a neglected area in the country; we need to ensure effective and robust health management mechanism across the country to ensure access to quality healthcare for our citizens. – NNI

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