LAHORE, May 18 (APP):Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Fidous Ashiq Awan Saturday said the government was moving forward on its long and short term policies and reform agenda to put the country’s system, including economy, on track.
Talking to media-persons during her visit to a Panagah (shelter home) near Lahore Railway Station, she said the government was taking both long term and short term measures to ensure provision of relief and mitigate miseries of the common man.
Firdous said the past rulers had also initiated a number of so-called programmes for public welfare and poverty alleviation, which further suppressed the poor instead of providing them any relief.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, she said, had challenged the status quo prevailing in the country for the last 70 years that was a big hurdle in its development.
The present government was fully committed to change the outdated system through long-term policies and short-term agenda, she added.
Dr Firdous mentioned that the past governments had assimilated corruption in the entire system and planted ‘mines’ in the country’s economic sector. “When we look into any institution, it is found infested with the virus of corruption.”
She said today, the opposition parties were talking loud of the miseries of the common man, price-hike and high energy tariffs. But why they did not think of the poor when they had been in power, she asked.
The special assistant said the past rulers had put the entire nation under heavy foreign debt
burden, which proved cancer for the economy. First aid or minor treatment would not work, rather chemotherapy was required to treat the economic cancer, she added.
To a question, Firdous said though the recent IMF package was a bitter pill to swallow yet it would have far-reaching effects on the country’s economic turnaround and improving the poor’s plight.
She said the PTI government was taking every possible measure to overcome the problems being faced by the poor people. Subsidy of Rs 216 billion would be given to electricity consumers using up to 300 units per month, while the grant under Ehsas Programme had also been enhanced to Rs 180 billion from Rs 80 billion, she added.
To another query, she said the Asset Declaration Bill was aimed at ending the menace of money laundering, documenting the economy and ensuring protection to the economic partners and investors.
Money laundering by the previous rulers, she said, had put Pakistan in the gray list at international level. In the past, all the amnesty schemes were used to save the black money, she added.
Firdous said Prime Minister Imran Khan was concerned about the poor segments of the society. Shelter homes had been constructed for those people, who came from villages and small towns to big cities in search of jobs to earn their livelihood, and the poor and deserving people as well as the victims of Takht-e-Lahore, so that they could have a better place to take rest. Earlier, such people had no option but to sleep on green belts and footpaths in the open sky and used to face severe weather conditions, she added.
To another question, she said the government would not leave the media workers in hot waters and stood with them in their difficult times. The prime minister had recently chaired a high-level meeting with owners of media houses to sort out the issues. The government was going to notify the interim wage award, and later, the permanent wage award would be worked out with the consultation of all stakeholders.