Finalise Karachi Transformation Plan within week, PM tells Ministry

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed for finalising the proposed ‘Karachi Transformation Plan’ after taking all stakeholders on board so that it can be approved and implemented.
The Prime Minister said this while chairing a high-level meeting on Monday, in which a proposed plan, designed by the Ministry of Planning and Development to address challenges faced by Karachi, was discussed.
The Prime Minister was briefed on the proposed Karachi Transformation Plan that has been formulated in line with Karachi’s problems and development requirements. The plan aims to find a permanent solution to issues such as solid waste management, water shortage, cleaning of nullahs, sewerage and transport.
The meeting was also attended by Planning Minister Asad Umar, Shipping and Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, National Disaster Management Authority Chairman Lt Gen Mohammad Afzal among other officials.
“The country’s development is linked to Karachi’s progress,” the Prime Minister said. He said the government is aware of the challenges that Karachi’s residents have been facing for years. “We cannot look away from the difficulties being faced by residents. The Centre will play its role to solve Karachi’s problems and its progress,” said the Prime Minister.
The meeting comes a week after Karachi was flooded by devastating rain that claimed more than 30 lives. The city received the heaviest rainfall in a single day in 53 years. Roads were inundated with water and, in many areas, houses were flooded as well. Power supply and mobile signals were disrupted for days due to damage to infrastructure.
The rain, once again, exposed the poor infrastructure and drainage system of the financial hub of the country. Following the devastation of the metropolis, the Premier had last week promised that his government would “not abandon” the city’s people “in their time of crisis”.
“My government is fully cognisant of the suffering of our people in the wake of the heavy rains, especially the people of Karachi,” he said via tweets.
Separately, he also announced that the Centre would work with the Sindh government to resolve Karachi’s years-old issues, like the desilting of nullahs and improving the city’s drainage system.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that it is his government’s priority to facilitate the business community by eliminating their difficulties through ease of doing business.
The Prime Minister said this while talking to a delegation of American Business Council of Pakistan here on Monday.
The Prime Minister said, “We have given a special package for the construction industry,” adding that they have also formed a committee to give a boost to small and medium enterprises.
The delegation lauded the government’s policies to facilitate the business community in the country and measures for ease of doing business.
The members of the group also briefed the Prime Minister regarding investments made by different companies in the American Business Council. They were of the view that investment opportunities are improving in the country owing to business-friendly policies of the incumbent government.
“Such measures have boosted the confidence of the US companies working in Pakistan and they wanted to improve the size of their investments,” the members in the delegation said and presented suggestions to the prime minister to further improve the policies.
The delegation presented a Rs17 million cheque to the Prime Minister for the coronavirus relief fund.
It is pertinent to mention here that Prime Minister Imran Khan on August 24 invited the Chinese business houses to establish their regional offices in Pakistan.
Talking to a delegation of Chinese investors along with Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing, who called on him in Islamabad today, PM Imran said that strengthening business to business ties among the people of Pakistan and China is the government’s top priority.
He assured the Chinese investors that his government will accord the highest priority to the provision of every possible facilitation to the Chinese investors. PM Imran reiterated that Pakistan and China have shared destiny.
On the occasion, the Chinese investors thanked the prime minister for his personal interest in facilitating Chinese investors and the business community in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, vowing to take action against the elements which tried to ignite flames of sectarianism on the occasion of Youm-e-Ashur, Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday thanked the nation for peacefully observing the sacred day.
The Prime Minister in a tweet regretted that he has received information about elements which tried to ignite flames of sectarianism on the solemn occasion and vowed that he will be taking very tough action against them.
Youm-e-Ashur, the tenth of Muharram, was observed on Sunday with solemnity to pay homage to Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and his companions who laid down their lives in Karbala. Processions in different cities mourned the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (SAAW).
Religious gatherings were also held across the country where religious scholars highlighted the philosophy of Karbala and paid tribute to the martyrs.
Strict security arrangements were put in place to thwart any unwanted incident, while standard operating procedures (SOPs) were issued for the mourning processions after consultations with the religious scholars to stem the spread of coronavirus. – TLTP

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