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March 13, 2019

No funds for opposition MPs in SDGs programme

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March 13, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The PTI led government will not provide funds to opposition members of Parliament under controversial Rs24 billion Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) achievement programme during the current fiscal year.

So far 80 parliamentarians belonging to ruling coalition presented their development schemes of their respective constituencies before the Steering Committee of the programme under chairmanship of PM’s aide Naeemul Haq.

“We possess limited resources so these funds will be utilised for execution of projects given by the ruling coalition members of the Parliament. It is not right to say that we will be providing funds directly to parliamentarians but only their development schemes will be executed,” Special Assistant to Prime Minister Naeemul Haq said while talking to reporters after attending 13th Citi-PPAF Microentreueurship Award here on Tuesday.

Naeemul Haq also said that the PTI led government approved for establishment of new Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and programme called “Ehsas” would be launched for bringing BISP, Baitul Mal, Prime Minister Youth Programme and others under one umbrella. He said that all provinces would be taken on board for bringing poverty programmes under one umbrella and added that new local bodies system would be introduced next year so the resource distribution would be devolved to the tehsil levels.

He said that the funds earmarked for SDGs achievement programme of Rs24 billion would not be lapsed on June 30, 2019 but he did not sure that how much funds could be utilised within the ongoing financial year.

To another query regarding Bilawal-Nawaz Sharif meeting, he replied that it was not aimed at inquiring about health of Nawaz Sharif but it was political meeting. Both the parties were cooperating with each other but they had devastated Pakistan’s economy in last ten years and now their leadership was facing NAB on corruption charges. He added in the same breath that the NAB was not under the government control.

He said that PM Imran Khan directed to provide all health facilities to Nawaz Sharif but they were trying to make it as political issue which was not good. “I consider that all health requirements of Nawaz Sharif can be fulfilled in Pakistan,” he added.

When asked about ongoing tussle between Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Finance Minister Asad Umar, he said that Bilawal made an aggressive speech in the National Assembly and Asad Umar had only responded that aggressive tone. It should be taken as part of debate undertaken by the political parties at the floor of the House, he maintained. He said that PM Imran Khan in his presence asked the Speaker National Assembly to formulate code of conduct for running the business and proceedings of the Parliament. “We want that National Assembly should not become circus,” he added. To another query regarding differences with PML-Q, he said that Shujaat Hussain came to his house which remained very positive and whenever cabinet would be expanded all coalition partners would be consulted on it.

Earlier in his address, he said that he knew PM Imran from last 37 years and his government wanted to do something to reduce poverty. The poverty, he said, could not be eliminated in five years but they wanted to kick-start work for moving towards achieving the desired objectives. “The revolution cannot come in five years period but we want to ensure wealth creation but its distribution should be done equitably” he added.

He said that the government wanted to construct 5 million houses in five years period for the poor segments who could not even dream of having their own houses.

The 13th Citi-PPAF Microentrepreneurship Awards ceremony was held to celebrate outstanding microentrepreneurs across Pakistan, equip them to expand their businesses, and raise awareness of the impact of small businesses on communities and economies.

Microentrepreneurs received awards in various categories. Nadeem Akhtar won the award for ‘Best National Microentrepreneur Male’ while Sakina Bibi won the award in the female category.

Nadeem has significantly grown his business of rural transport by making smart investments and using loans, going from living hand-to-mouth to acquiring key financial stability. He has also provided employment to other individuals in his community.

Sakina Bibi established a washing machine plant using savings and loans, and has provided for her son’s laundry shop. She began by washing clothes of neighbouring households, and now provides employment for four other individuals.

Qazi Asmat Isa, CEO of PPAF, said that more than 450 exceptional microentrepreneurs were recognised through the Awards. The awards programme is a great way to raise awareness about microfinance’s benefits to economies as well as highlight best practices in the field, he added.

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