ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Monday that remittances sent by overseas Pakistanis continued to remain above the $2 billion mark for the fourth consecutive month, terming it “good news” for the economy.
“Despite Covid, more good news for our economy,” he said in a morning tweet. “Alhamdulillah, remittances from our hard-working overseas Pakistanis rose to $2.3 billion in September 2020, 31% higher than last September and 9% higher than August 2020.”
Meanwhile, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said that “cumulatively, workers’ remittances rose to a record $7.1 billion” in the first quarter of the ongoing fiscal year. It added that in the last fiscal year, the remittances for the first quarter were $5.5 billion.
The SBP credited the “sustained growth” in remittances to the government’s efforts made under the Pakistan Remittances Initiative.
The central bank said that, under the initiative, the government was trying to “formalise remittances” and improve the structure of Pakistan’s forex markets.
It also added that the “gradual re-opening of businesses in major host destinations, such as Middle East, Europe and US” has also helped in boosting the remittances.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed the confidence that religious scholars will continue to play their pivotal role for promotion of Islamic values, meet the contemporary challenges and check sectarianism in the country.
The Prime Minister was talking to prominent religious personalities from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa here on Monday.
The Prime Minister stressed that it is important to project the social, cultural and religious values of society to meet the contemporary challenges. In this regard, the religious scholars have an important role.
He noted that the religious scholars have always fulfilled the responsibility of guiding the nation and the government in difficult times.
The Prime Minister was confident that the religious personalities will continue to support the government’s efforts against COVID-19 and provide guidance to the people to stay safe from the pandemic.
Meanwhile, a delegation of the National Commission for Minorities, headed by its Chairman Chela Ram Kewlani, called on the Prime Minister.
Talking to the delegation, Prime Minister Imran Khan called for collective efforts to foil the sordid designs of anti-state elements bent upon instigating chaos in the country under the garb of religion.
Imran Khan said that interfaith harmony is the need of the hour. He hoped that the National Commission for Minorities would play its role in this regard. The Prime Minister said the government is committed to protect the constitutional and legal rights of the minorities’ community.
Meanwhile, Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Imran Khan here on Monday.
The Prime Minister congratulated Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan on assuming the office of Chief of Naval Staff and wished him success for his tenure.
Admiral Amjad Khan Niazi took charge as the new Chief of Naval Staff on Wednesday last. He called on Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Nadeem Raza on Saturday last.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has emphasised upon the need for enhancing mutually beneficial cooperation with Australia in diverse fields.
In a telephonic conversation with his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison on Monday, Imran Khan particularly mentioned the adverse economic impact of COVID-19 on the developing countries, for which he has also called for the Global Initiative on Debt Relief supported by Australia.
Both leaders discussed bilateral matters and international issues of mutual interest.
The Prime Minister appreciated Australia’s impressive management of COVID-19 situation and highlighted the unprecedented global health and economic challenges posed by the pandemic. He noted that his government’s emphasis had been on saving lives, securing livelihoods, and stimulating the economy. The “smart lockdown” strategy and other measures taken by the government had led to significant containment of the pandemic in Pakistan, he added.
Expressing satisfaction at the level of bilateral relations between the two countries, he stressed that there existed huge potential for further enhancing mutually beneficial cooperation in diverse fields.
The Prime Minister said that with an improved on-ground situation, cricket between the two sides could also be resumed.
In the regional context, the Prime Minister highlighted Pakistan’s positive contribution to the Afghan peace process and stressed that peace in Afghanistan is of paramount importance for the region.
He also highlighted the potential for enhanced trade and increased regional connectivity through the dividends of peace in Afghanistan.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison also noted Pakistan’s positive role in the Afghan peace process and invited Prime Minister Imran Khan to visit Australia.
He extended an invitation to the Australian Prime Minister to visit Pakistan at an early date.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison shared his country’s efforts to manage COVID-19 pandemic. He also noted Pakistan’s positive role in the Afghan peace process. Prime Minister Morrison also invited Prime Minister Imran Khan to visit Australia.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that smuggling of food commodities is a menace to the country’s economy as it poses a threat to the country’s food security causing the public to suffer because of a shortage of basic necessities.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said this while presiding over a high-level meeting here on Monday to review progress on prevention of smuggling of food commodities.
The Prime Minister said there would be no concession or compromise on the action against smuggling. He directed all relevant departments to submit reports on the prevention of smuggling and action taken against those involved in the act after every 15 days so that progress in this regard may be continuously monitored.
The provincial chief secretaries apprised Khan on the situation of wheat production, harvesting and overall situation.
The meeting also reviewed the prices of basic commodities, and the provincial chief secretaries also briefed the Prime Minister in detail about the steps taken to bring down these prices.
Reports on action taken against hoarders and profiteers by the provincial governments were also presented to the Prime Minister.
Minister for Economic Affairs Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister for Industries Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Advisor on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Advisor on Commerce Abdul Razzaq Dawood, Special Assistant on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood and other senior officers attended the meeting. The provincial chief secretaries participated in the meeting through video link.
Meanwhile, the federal government has agreed to let opposition parties hold rallies and processions across the country as the Prime Minister Imran Khan said their real agenda will reveal itself soon.
After weeks-long deliberation and confusions over what the future might hold for opposition parties’ movement, the federal cabinet has finally approved opposition’s plans to hold rallies against the government across Pakistan after, it stated, the PM said that holding them back in their futile bid will unnecessarily make them heroes.
According to details, the Prime Minister held a critical huddle to mull over political matters of the country at present, wherein the ministers and assistants recommended to allow opposition parties to hold their rallies.
The ruling members suggested to the Prime Minister that opposition be allowed to bring out their rallies on specific spots while the district authorities in the relevant areas will ensure they follow COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs).
A while back, Federal Planning Minister Asad Umar, elaborating on the federal government’s policy, said that no party including the ruling ones should bring political rallies while the country still struggled with Covid-19 situation.
It is pertinent to note that the opposition alliance, Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) rallies and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PMLN) workers conventions have been scheduled to start from later this month.
First PDM political procession is scheduled for October 25 in Quetta followed by second in Peshawar on November 22 and in Multan on November 30. The next in series, according to the schedule, will be carried out on December 13 in Lahore and on December 27 in Larkana.
Meanwhile, the worker’s conventions have been scheduled to be held on October 29 in Nawabshah, on October 30 in Umarkot and on October 31 in Rawalpindi. They will continue into the next month with one on November 5 in Muzaffargarh, in Bahawalpur on November26, in Faisalabad on December 3 and in Sahiwal on December 6. Moreover, the leading opposition party PML-N will hold its worker’s conventions. – TLTP

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