ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that the government is committed to providing all-out facilities to the exporters.
Talking to a delegation of leading exporters, who called on him, the Prime Minister emphasized the need for greater focus on capitalizing the country’s potential in services related exports.
“In order to promote the process of industrialization in the country and to make our products competitive, the government has either eliminated or significantly reduced duties on hundreds of tariff lines involving raw material for the local industry,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that the refund system has been streamlined to resolve liquidity issues of the exporters and industrialists. He said that the government is pursuing a ‘Made in Pakistan’ policy to promote export-led industrialization in the country.
He expressed satisfaction that Pakistan’s economy is moving in the right direction and constantly showing growth in exports after a global slump caused by COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier, in order to further facilitate the exporters, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on August 19 enhanced the limit of refinancing provided to the banks under Exports Finance Scheme (EFS) by Rs100 billion.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had announced that to promote export-oriented investment, Rs90 billion had also been allocated under Long Term Financing Facility (LTFF) for the ongoing fiscal year.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that it is the foremost duty and top priority of the government to enable the weak and poverty-stricken segments of society to meet their basic requirements.
Presiding over a meeting here on Wednesday, the Prime Minister said that the government is striving to ensure the subsidy system functions more effectively, transparently and well-targeted. He further said that all-out measures are being taken to make the system more transparent, effective and targeted.
The Prime Minister directed to ensure effective utilisation of subsidies to give maximum relief to lower-income segments of the society. He maintained that fulfilling the requirements of poverty-stricken people is the government’s top priority.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar, National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA) chairman and finance secretary and other officials were present in the meeting.
Earlier on July 20, stressing the need for reforms in the ‘subsidy system’, Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed to ensure that the benefit of subsidies reached only the poor and needy people.
Meanwhile, Talking to Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari on Wednesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that protection of human rights is the top priority of the present government and every possible effort will be made in this regard.
He said civilized societies are recognized by ensuring the protection of human rights.
The minister for human rights also presented a report on the situation of women prisoners in jails and recommendations for providing relief to them.
The Prime Minister was informed that a Child Protection Center is being set up in the federal capital for the protection of children. The center will provide education, psychological support and other facilities to the deserving children. He was also told that work is also underway to set up special courts for children.
The Prime Minister was briefed about shelters for women and measures taken to protect the rights of transgenders. The Minister for Human Rights also presented the Ministry’s two-year performance report to the Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has decided to provide the maximum benefit of crops to the farmers by increasing support price for wheat producers.
In a meeting of the Price Control Committee, presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan, on Wednesday, it was decided to extend the maximum benefit of crops to the farmers by hiking support prices for wheat producers for the coming year.
The meeting also mulled over recommendations and steps to control the inflation in prices of essential items across the nation. It also briefed the PM on the provincial status of the efforts made to ensure the same.
The meeting laid out the assessment report prepared by Tiger Force on sugar prices charged across the country. The PM took notice of the discrepancies and directed the committee to ensure official price lists are hanging on the utility, grocery stores across the country.
According to the reports, the cost of wheat production jumped to Rs1,349 per 40kg in Punjab and Rs1,315 per 40kg in Sindh. Whereas the amount they were previously paid against this was a mere Rs1300 which discouraged them to grow wheat and contribute to fulfilling the country’s requirement.
However, the Economic Coordination Committee in March set the support prices to Rs1400 per 40kg. The new support prices have not been revealed yet.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has emphasised the importance of Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral relations, which are based on commonalities of faith and culture, shared history and fraternal bonds between the two peoples.
The Prime Minister stated this during a telephonic conversation with Chairman Afghan High Council for National Reconciliation Dr Abdullah Abdullah.
The Prime Minister reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to further deepen brotherly ties and enhance cooperation in all fields. He said that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and a negotiated political settlement is the only way forward.
Highlighting Pakistan’s positive contribution to the Afghan peace process, the Prime Minister stressed that the Afghan leaders must seize this historic opportunity to achieve an inclusive political settlement contributing to durable peace, security and prosperity in Afghanistan.
He said Pakistan looks forward to the commencement of Intra-Afghan negotiations at the earliest.
The Prime Minister invited Dr Abdullah Abdullah to visit Pakistan at the earliest to share perspective on advancing the Afghan peace process and forging closer ties between the two countries.
Both sides agreed to enhance bilateral relations, besides taking forward the Afghanistan peace process.
It is noteworthy to mention here that a delegation of Afghan Taliban arrived in Islamabad on Monday last to discuss the Afghanistan peace process with senior Pakistani officials.
The delegation reached the federal capital from Qatar at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deliberate the Afghan peace process and other related issues.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday directed the federal institutions to carry out relief operations and help rain-hit people in Karachi as heavy downpour brought life to a standstill in the port city.
The Prime Minister directed authorities concerned to step up relief efforts in rain-affected areas of Karachi and use all available resources in providing relief to people of Karachi.
“Federal government will not leave the people of Karachi alone,” said the Prime Minister and lauded efforts of Pakistan Army and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) for carrying out relief activities in the city.
On the other hand, Federal Minister for Planning and Development, Asad Umar, said that he reviewed the plan for clearing Karachi nullahs/river beds. The work on cleaning Karachi sewage drains will start from next month after the approval of the plan.
“Reviewed NDMA plan for clearing nullahs/ river beds & solve problem of Karachi drowning every time it rains heavily. Inshallah will have plan approved and work started in Sep. Completion in 1 year. Largest tax-paying city of Pakistan deserves better than what it is facing today,” he tweeted.
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan Army is carrying out relief and rescue operations in various parts of Karachi affected by heavy rains, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Wednesday.
It said the army’s engineers along with heavy machinery and specialised equipment have been deployed to stop the outflow of water from the Malir River by repairing cracks that emerged in its walls, inundating Qaidabad and nearby neighbourhoods.
In a tweet late on Tuesday night, the ISPR said Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa had directed the Karachi Corps to step up flood relief operations to assist the people affected by the recent rains in interior Sindh and Karachi.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has constituted a National Coordination Committee on Tourism with immediate effect.
The committee has been constituted to facilitate and coordinate the government’s commitment to give tourism a priority in mainstream development and steer the country towards becoming the fastest growing tourism destination.
The Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development will be convener of the committee.
According to the terms of reference (TORs), the committee will oversee and review implementation of national tourism strategy and integration of provincial and regional policies.
It will act as a focal point for inter-provincial, inter-ministerial, inter-departmental and inter-agency coordination to resolve implementation issues with respect to the tourism development sector.
Geo-mapping and profiling of all the tourist spots and tourism and hospitality business and products will also come under the scope of the committee. It will identify barriers to tourism development with complete recommendations for their removal to create an enabling environment for the tourism sector.
The committee will devise effective regulatory and implementation mechanisms of national minimum standards. While ensuring its monitoring and coordination with all stakeholders for its strict compliance. The committee has been tasked to promote investments through public private partnership and small and medium enterprises. It will also suggest measures to promote formal training of manpower engaged with the tourism industry for capacity building.
The convener shall brief the Prime Minister fortnightly on impediments, recommendations for improvement, and overall progress on implementation of Prime Minister’s guidelines and directions. – TLTP

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