Foundation for the prosperity of country laid down, says PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the government inherited a difficult economic situation with record deficits; however, the foundation for the prosperity of the country has been laid down.
Interacting with the public over the telephone on Tuesday, the prime minister said, “Our foreign exchange reserves have reached $15.6 billion dollars. There is a growth of 7.5 percent in the large scale manufacturing with the textile industry operating at its full capacity.” He added that there has been an increase in revenue collection and the exports.
The prime minister categorically stated that no relaxation or NRO (national reconciliation ordinance) will be given to any mafia or corrupt element. However, he assured that no injustice will be done with anybody. “The corrupt mafia doesn’t want the law to prevail and so they are creating hurdles in its way,” he added.
The prime minister expressed the optimism that his struggle against the corrupt mafia and for the establishment of rule of law will succeed, which will turn Pakistan into a great nation. He asked the people to stand by his struggle which is aimed at bringing the powerful under the law.
The prime minister said those who plundered the nation over the last thirty years do not want supremacy of the constitution and law. He said mafias in different sectors including in the sugar do not want the institutions to function.
Responding to another caller, the premier reiterated that Pakistan cannot progress unless there is an equal law for the powerful and the weak, saying supremacy of law is the only way forward.
“A country witnesses destruction when those at the helm of affairs are involved in loot and plunder,” he added. “In the past [former prime minister] Nawaz Sharif attacked the Supreme Court, while our government doesn’t interfere in the matters of the judiciary.”
Imran Khan said the present government believes in the rule of law and it is not interfering in the matters of judiciary and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
The prime minister said he has also waged a war against the land grabbers and noose has been tightened around them. He said that 21,000 acres of land valuing Rs27 billion has so far been recovered.
When asked about the price hike, the prime minister said he has brought Shaukat Tarin as the finance minister with the responsibility to bring down the prices of essential commodities and take the economy towards growth. He said, “We have kept the petrol prices and diesel lower as we realise that no more burden can be put on the masses.”
He said prices of electricity has direct impact on inflation. He said the previous government of PML-N signed expensive agreements, putting a huge burden of capacity payments. He said these payments were around Rs180 billion in 2013, which swelled to Rs484 billion in 2018 and now this amount is standing at Rs900 billion.
He said under the international agreements, the government is bound to procure electricity even if it does not require so. He said, “We convinced the independent power producers and managed to reduce the amount of capacity payment to the tune of Rs132 billion.” Similarly, the prime minister said, “We imported LNG from Qatar at cheaper rates, saving $300 million annually.”
The prime minister said that Rs1,100 billion have gone to the farmers this year due to the government’s pro agriculture policy. He said the government will soon announce a long-term plan for the agriculture sector. He said, “We saved both the economy and the people during the difficult times of Covid-19.”
Discussing the Covid-19 situation, the prime minister once again appealed to the people to strictly follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to contain the spread of the pandemic. He was confident that Pakistan will come out of the third wave of Covid-19 if the people observe the SOPs during the Eid holidays.
He said, “We are also holding discussions for domestic manufacturing of anti-Covid vaccine and the nation will soon hear good news in this regard.”
Responding to a query of a caller, the prime minister categorically stated that Pakistan will not hold talks with India until it rescinds the illegal steps of 5th August 2019.
“Unless India retreats from the steps taken on August 5 and the statehood imposed on Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the Pakistani government will not talk to India at all.”
“Unfortunately, the western media and countries raise the issue of Kashmir only to pursue their foreign policy objectives,” he said, adding that “they want to see a powerful India to tackle the growing threat of China”. The prime minister added that it is foolish to think that India would stand up to China because it would only result in the former’s destruction.
The premier said that several ministers are doing a remarkable job and added, “for those who aren’t, I can only say that we will then have to change the team.” – TLTP

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