ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Sunday directed for reducing non-development spending and increasing development expenditure in the upcoming budget for the fiscal year 2020-21.
The Prime Minister was chairing a high-level meeting in the federal capital on the proposed budgets of the federal government and provincial governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the next financial year.
Addressing the meeting, Prime Minister Imran Khan said the budget for next financial year is being presented in exceptional circumstances due to corona pandemic. In view of these circumstances, he directed to set priorities especially for those projects and to put into practice those priorities which would create employment opportunities and accelerate the wheel of the economy.
The Prime Minister said in large urban areas where the coronavirus outbreak has had a devastating effect, full employment opportunities should be created.
In order to meet the national and provincial development needs and ensure the participation of the private sector in development projects, the Prime Minister called for facilitating the private sector for the accomplishment of projects under public-private partnership.
The Prime Minister directed the provincial governments to pay special attention to the development of the industrial sector and agriculture. In this regard, the Prime Minister was also given a special briefing on the priorities in the budget for the development of special economic zones and agriculture sector.
The Prime Minister directed that following the pattern of the federal government, the provincial governments should also pay special attention to reducing unnecessary government expenditure. He directed the provincial governments to pay special attention to the up-gradation of the health sector with regard to development projects so that the people could have access to quality healthcare facilities.
Keeping in view the ground realities regarding revenue and expenditure, Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mehmood Khan’s economic teams briefed the meeting about their respective province’s priorities for the upcoming budget.
Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Information Minister Shibli Faraz, Minister for Industry Hammad Azhar, Planning Minister Asad Umar, and Advisors Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Abdul Razzaq Dawood, Dr Ishrat Hussain and Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari were also present in the meeting.
Separately, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said Pakistan is among the pioneers of smart lockdown strategy, coupled with strict adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs) against COVID-19.
In a series of tweets the other day, the Prime Minister observed that a lockdown meant collapse of the economy and a steep rise in poverty in poor country, crushing the poor as has happened in India.
To check the spread of COVID-19, he once again emphasized creation of public awareness about the severity of the disease and importance of SOPs.
The Prime Ministers said the world has discovered the smart lockdown as the only strategy to contain the contagion besides continuing the economic activity with certain SOPs in place.
The Prime Minister appealed to the civil society, media, Ulema and the tiger force ‘to create awareness amongst the public about severity of the pandemic.
He said it is dilemma that on the one hand the masses are not taking the Covid-19 pandemic seriously and on the other, understandably, the frontline doctors & health professionals are facing great risk.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan once again emphasizing upon creation of public awareness about the severity of COVID-19 and the need for strictly adhering to standard operating procedures (SOPs) to contain its spread, said Pakistan was amongst the pioneers of smart lockdown approach.
In series of tweets, the Prime Minister observed that a lockdown meant collapse of the economy & in poorer countries a steep rise in poverty, crushing the poor as happened in Modi’s lockdown in India.
“Only solution as world has discovered is smart lockdown which allows for economic activity with SOPs. We are amongst pioneers of this approach,” he posted.
The prime minister appealed to the civil society, media, Ulema and the tiger force ‘to create awareness amongst the public of COVID-19’s severity and the need to strictly observe SOPs’.
He also tagged in a video clip by a private television channel in which the interviewees were expressing their carelessness about the pandemic.
“This video shows the dilemma confronting our govt today: On the one hand we have the masses who are not taking the COVID19 pandemic seriously & on the other hand, understandably, we have our frontline doctors & health professionals, who are at great risk, & some of our elite wanting a lockdown – the elite who have the privilege of spacious homes & income unaffected by fallout of lockdown,” he further posted. – TLTP, NNI