Govt emphasizing on housing sector to achieve higher growth: PM Khan

LAHORE: While addressing a ceremony at Raiwind after performing groundbreaking of a housing project under Punjab Peri Urban Low Housing scheme on Thursday Prime Minister Imran Khan pledged to achieve higher growth and provide job opportunities in the country.
The Prime Minister said the government has given incentives to the construction industry and there is a record sale of cement. He was confident that impact of this boom in construction industry will soon be visible on the overall economy.
Imran Khan said the government’s low cost housing initiative is a beginning of a revolution in the country. He said it will enable the common man including the salaried class, welders, mechanics and small farmers to own their own houses. He said the banks are now providing loans on low interest rates to the common man to build their own houses.
The Prime Minister said there is also a plan to convert slums into such facilities where people have access to all basic amenities including electricity, gas and sewerage. Under the Peri Urban housing scheme, he said the housing units are being built in areas where there was no concept of constructing the houses.
The Prime Minister said the government is taking steps to uplift the agriculture sector. He said there is record production of wheat, rice and maize. He said this happened because we ensured that the farmers get better price of their produce. He said the agriculture sector will be transformed through the introduction of new techniques and technology. He said our exports have also started increasing due to the incentives given to the industries. He said the people will see the positive outcome of present government’s policies in the coming days.
The Prime Minister advised the people to observe SOPs to deal with the third wave of COVID-19. He said the next two weeks are very important and we have to bring down the Corona cases, and it can be done if the people start wearing masks.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan is embarking on a three-day official visit to Saudi Arabia from Friday (today) on the invitation of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.
Diplomatic circles are expecting the visit meaning where Imran Khan is scheduled to meet the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, the Secretary General of the World Muslim League, Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa and the Imams of the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Medina. He will also interact with Pakistani Diaspora in Jeddah.
During his official visit, Prime Minister will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including the Foreign Minister and other members of the Cabinet. The Prime Minister’s consultations with the Saudi leadership will cover all areas of bilateral cooperation including economic, trade, investment, energy, job opportunities for Pakistani workforce, and welfare of Pakistani Diaspora in the Kingdom.
The two sides will also exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest. A number of bilateral agreements/MoUs are expected to be signed during the visit.
The Prime Minister will also meet the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, the Secretary General of the World Muslim League, Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa and the Imams of the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Medina. He will also interact with Pakistani Diaspora in Jeddah.
In a statement on Thursday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have long-standing and historic fraternal relations, rooted deep in common faith, shared history and mutual support.
He said the people of Pakistan hold the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in the highest esteem. The relationship is marked by close cooperation in all fields and mutual collaboration on regional and international issues, in particular those faced by the Muslim Ummah. Saudi Arabia is a member of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir.
The spokesperson said regular high-level bilateral visits continue to play a pivotal role in providing impetus to the fraternal ties and close cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday approved funeral grant for overseas Pakistanis to help them “bury their loved ones with dignity”.
In a tweet from his official handle on Thursday, the premier said fund of Rs25,000 will be disbursed by the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) to the needy diaspora.
“Our govt is moving forward in service delivery for overseas Pakistanis. Funeral grant of PKR 25,000 has been approved to be given from @opf_pk [OPF]. Amount will be given to help the needy and destitute amongst our diaspora to bury their loved ones with dignity. More facilities to follow,” he announced in a tweet.
Announcement comes a day after PM Imran publically castigated Pakistani missions abroad for showing “indifferent attitude” toward Pakistanis living abroad particularly in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. He also urged the envoys to give preferential treatment to those who haven’t seen their families for six to eight months and are working abroad.
“They spend hefty amount but there is a lack of compassion from your end… serve them properly… they’re the force this country is running on.”
Remittances from Pakistani workers employed abroad exceeded $2 billion for the 10th consecutive month in March at $2.7 billion – up 43 per cent from a year earlier. Workers’ remittances increased 43% to $2.72 billion in March, 2021 compared to $1.90 billion in the same month of previous year. Inflows were 20% higher compared to February 2021, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported.
“The love and commitment of overseas Pakistanis to Pakistan is unparalleled. You sent over $2 billion for 10 straight months despite Covid, breaking all records… We thank you,” PM Imran had said on his official Twitter handle.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan has expressed profound grief and sorrow over the demise of senior APHC leader and Tehreek-e-Hurryat Jammu and Kashmir Chairman Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai in illegal Indian custody, saying New Delhi’s oppression of the Kashmiris is a blot on international community’s collective conscience.
In his Twitter message, the Pakistan’s Prime Minister wrote, “Deeply saddened by the demise of Kashmiri leader Ashraf Sehrai in illegal Indian custody. India’s oppression of Kashmiris is a blot on int community’s collective conscience. We will continue to support Kashmiris’ just struggle for the right to self-determination in acc with UNSC Resolutions.”
Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai died at a hospital in Jammu on Wednesday. Booked under the draconian Public Safety Act, Sehrai was detained in Udhampur Jail in Jammu where his condition deteriorated.
He was on Tuesday shifted to a hospital in Jammu where he died on Wednesday. Sehrai was suffering from multiple diseases and was not provided with any treatment during his incarceration in jail. His family members were kept unaware of his health condition. He was 77. – TLTP/NNI

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