ISLAMABAD, Aug 17 (APP): Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said on Tuesday that after facing crisis inherited by the incumbent government from the previous regimes, Prime Minister Imran Khan had settled on the crease now and was ready to play a long and productive innings for the country’s betterment.
“This is indeed a bad news for the opposition parties”, he said while briefing media along with other ministers about Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf government’s two years performance here.
The minister said that during previous two years, the PTI leadership and PM Imran Khan reflected all elements that were necessary for making a country strong and stable.
“After struggling for 22 years, Imran Khan became Prime Minister and with the combination of dignity, courage, and grace, he successfully faced worst economic situation, Indian challenge that erupted after Balakot situation, and COVID-19 crisis,” Asad Umar added.
He said the government’s timely decisions and actions minimized impact of COVID-19 on people’s health as well as economy as compared to other regional countries.
Asad Umar said despite pressure of imposing complete lock down from other political parties, media and civil society, the government chose the option of smart lockdown by keeping in view the difficulties of poor people.
He said from day one, the PM had been insisting that complete lockdown was not a solution to contain the pandemic that was proved later by the fact that Pakistan’s successful strategy was hailed from across the world.
He maintained that with respect to COVID-19, the PM took all the actions and decisions by engaging all provinces and other federating units that was proof of the fact that irrespective of party affiliation, Imran Khan was ready to work together only for the betterment of the country.
He, however said that the opposition parties’ demand of offering NRO would never be accepted.
He said the government took data based, scientific based and analytical based decisions to control the pandemic and the economy.
“We succeeded to show competence, deployment of best technology and political cohesion in controlling COVID-19 and minimizing economic impact on the common people,” he added.
Asad Umar pointed out that this was a unique challenge in which the world economies failed as the United States’ GDP shrank by 30 percent and UK’s economy contracted by 20 percent.
The world, he said was acknowledging Pakistan’s efforts in controlling the pandemic specially in context of the contrast in the neighbouring country India, where the corona cases went up steeply.
Presenting previous two weeks’ data, the minister added that according to population, deaths in Bangladesh due to corona were four times higher as compared to Pakistan while in India and Iran the ratio was 1:12 and 1:20.
On economic front, he said during March-July period, the exports of India and Bangladesh declined by 33 percent and 31 percent respectively while in Pakistan the exports decreased by 20 percent.
“So the Pakistan faced less loss on both health and economic sides.”
He said previous government’s were focused only on the benefit of few families of the country however PM Imran Khan’s one and only priority was people of the country.
He said the PM announced lucrative packages for those whose income affected due coronavirus.
He said the Adviser on Finance was worth the be praised as he did not resist any such package and despite huge packages, he also managed to limit the fiscal deficit even below what the IMF had expected.
He specifically praised SAPM Dr Sania Nishtar’s commitment in realizing new packages for the poor.