Pakistan heading in the right direction

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday said that Pakistan is heading in the right direction.

Addressing the joint session of the parliament on Monday at Parliament House in Islamabad, he congratulated the parliamentarians on completion of government’s three years.

Dr Alvi said that the confidence of foreign investors has increased 60 percent, adding that in the first two months of the current financial year, more revenue was collected than the target.

He said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led (PTI) government helped the lower segment of the society with Ehsaas Program, while loans were being provided to the masses on easy conditions for construction of residential units.

The President went on to say that during the recent budget session, Prime Minister Imran Khan had highlighted the economic achievements. He said Pakistan is moving in the right direction after undergoing many positive changes during the past three years.

“The world economy has shrunk due to the negative effects of Coronavirus pandemic but thanks to policies of the PTI government, Pakistan’s economic performance remained better than other countries,” he said and added the country’s remittances reached $19.4 billion and the Pakistan Stock Exchange broke all previous records.

He expressed satisfaction that the economic growth remained 3.94 percent during the last financial year. He said that the exports touched the figure of 25.3 billion dollars and remittances 19.4 billion dollars during the last financial year. He said the remittances witnessed increase of ten percent during the first two months of current fiscal year.

Dr Ali further said Pakistan Stock Exchange has broken all previous records and emerged as the world’s fourth best performing markets. He said that according to a survey of overseas investors, chamber of commerce and industry, the Business Confidence Index of Pakistan improved by massive 60 percent.

The President said that the FBR collection reached 4732 billion rupees during the last fiscal year and during the first two months of current financial year additional 160 billion rupees were collected. He said that this enhancement in remittances and revenue collection show the confidence of the masses on the policies of the government. 

He was also appreciative for the steps taken by the government to meet the action plan of Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

"The government also gave a comprehensive package to the construction industry in order to uplift the weak segments of the society," the president said and mentioned that people are being providing easy loans to build their own Houses. He said these achievements on the economic front are a reality which the opposition will have to accept.

"Agriculture sector witnessed a growth of 2.7 percent while exports in the IT sector touch the mark of 2.12 billion dollars, adding that various programmes have been launched to provide skill training to youth and 1.7 million youth has so far been provided vocational training in this regard," he added.

Dr Alvi said the government has been implementing a number of social security initiatives under Ehsaas programme for social economic development of people. He said 208 billion rupees have been allocated for this programme that will benefit about thirty percent of the population. He said Ehsaas Nashonuma, Waseela Taleem, Ehsaas Kafalat, Ehsaas Scholarship, Emergency Cash, Langarkhana and Koi Bhooka Na Soye programmes would significantly contribute to social economic development across the country.

The President said the youth are being provided easy loans for starting their own business. He said that 100 billion rupees have been earmarked for this programme and fifteen billion rupees have so far been distributed among the eligible candidates.

He said Pakistan is heading towards Universal Health coverage under the government’s Sehat Sahulat Program. He said eighteen million families are currently benefiting from this programme and hopefully the health card scheme will soon reach every corner of the country. He underlined the need for giving special importance to telemedicine as it would decrease burden on hospitals.

The President also emphasised on family planning and breast feeding so that health of child and mother can be protective. He said also urged media and Ulema to play their role in creating awareness in this regard. He also called upon the government to increase funding for this purpose.

Talking about the education sector, Dr. Arif Alvi said the government has introduced a single national curriculum and announced massive scholarship for students to promote education in the country. He said the uniform syllabus is a step towards building a united nation. He said differently able people have been exempted from tuition and hostel fee by the Higher Education Commission, enabling them to become a vibrant and productive segment of the society. He said the government has paid special focus on safeguarding the rights of differently able people and women.

Regarding protections of women rights, the President said the government has not only made effective legislation but also took administrative measures to prevent incidents of sexual harassment against women and children. He appreciated the government for undertaking legislation to protect women’s hereditary rights.

On Climate Change, Dr. Arif Alvi said the government launched ten million trees Tsunami and Clean Green Pakistan to mitigate negative impacts of environmental degradation.