Imran Khan said that Pakistan has witnessed record agricultural yield this year, against anyone's expectations.
Tariq Butt, Correspondent
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the country’s economy has been put on the right track with economic indicators showing positive trends.
Interacting with the public via telephone on Sunday, the prime minister said Pakistan has come out of economic crisis against the expectations of the opposition and it will now move forward on the economic front.
Imran said the economy has witnessed accelerated growth due to the policies of the government. Nobody was anticipating the 3.94 per cent growth for the current year but there are estimates that it will go beyond 4 per cent.
He said the increase in growth will also help address the issues of inflation and unemployment. He said there is unprecedented activity in the construction sector besides the record sale of tractors, cars and motorcycles.
Imran said the opposition parties have got together not for the sake of the country but their vested interests. He said they wanted to get rid of the corruption cases through blackmailing. He, however, said they will not succeed in their designs.
Responding to the question of a caller, the prime minister said there has been record production of some major crops including wheat, rice and maize. He regretted that the agriculture sector was ignored in the past but now the government is paying attention to its development on modern lines.
He said steps are being taken to provide farmers direct access to the markets. “We are also establishing nine hundred new storage facilities. More loans will be given in the agriculture sector, which will benefit the farmers.”
Imran said his government has started work on ten dams, which will be completed in ten years’ time. This will enhance our water storage capacity, he added.
The prime minister said telemetry system will be introduced to ensure fair distribution of water amongst the provinces.
Imran said Rs4,143 billion have so far been collected in taxes by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) during the current fiscal year which is a record. He said this has been achieved despite the challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Expressing satisfaction over the way Pakistan handled the pandemic, he said “the system of FBR is being automated which will help bring more people into the tax net and significantly enhance our revenue. This in turn will reduce the burden of loans besides the government will have sufficient resources to spend more on the people.”
The prime minister said no new taxes will be imposed on poor people in the next budget. Imran said his main focus is to provide better health facilities to the disadvantaged segments of the society.
He said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government has already provided health insurance cards to all the households whilst the same will be done in Punjab by the end of this year. He said a network of hospitals will be established in the country. For this purpose, the land of Pakistan Railways and Auqaf will be utilised.
Responding to a query of another caller, Imran said a committee has been established to categorise between legal and illegal housing societies. He said this list will also be put on a website so that the people are not defrauded by the illegal housing societies.
He said the land record will be computerised in Islamabad, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by August this year which will also help discourage the land mafia.
"I am shocked to receive complaints from overseas Pakistanis that our embassies are doing nothing to resolve their problems. Therefore this time I want to monitor and evaluate the performance of our embassies abroad,” Imran said while addressing envoys via video link.
"We had a very difficult two years. We didn't have foreign exchange and couldn't pay our debts. We have avoided a huge crisis because we didn't default (payments). But I know it hasn't been easy for the people, I understand the difficulties they faced and still are facing,” he said in a televised address to the nation.
The scheme will cost the government Rs450 billion and will provide free medical treatment to the people at government and private hospitals. Each family can avail treatment worth Rs1 million annually.
The prime minister expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of the current local governments and said a system was being introduced at the village level under which funds would be transferred directly to the councils.
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