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‘Live in difficulty until govt fixes system’

Top Story

May 11, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has asked the people to have heart and ‘stay strong’ in the face of economic complexities and rising inflation.

He assured the masses that the country shall make it through this time. Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Mother and Child Hospital and Nursing Training Centre in Rawalpindi on Friday, he conceded that it is absolutely true that right now people are confronted with difficulties. Power and gas are expensive while inflation is rising. "But what I want you to understand is this: why do prices rise? It is because power and gas sectors are heavily under debt. When our government came to power, debts of both sectors had risen to Rs1,300 billion. There are only two ways to tackle debt; either you take more loans and our power sector is already so indebted that we cannot borrow any further and so we have to raise prices."

He said that reorganisation of national institutions would not be derailed. He said the nation wants to get rid of corruption, poverty and government would not disappoint the people. Khan said that the people would have to live in difficulty until the government corrects the system and repays the country's debts.

It was a lackluster address by Imran Khan as it lacks thunder against the opposition and bashing of the opponents. Comparatively, it was a brief speech where debts were mentioned by him without accusing and shouting at the loan-takers. He reminded that provision of basic facilities and resolving common people's problems are the fundamental responsibilities of the government. The government is trying to improve the existing health facilities and establish new hospitals where needed.

The prime minister said that the government has launched health insurance card under which a family can get medical treatment at private or government hospitals up to Rs720,000.

Imran Khan promised that his government would try its best to "fulfill the basic needs of the people". He said that the government will provide loans to young people so they can start businesses and provide cows and buffaloes to residents of rural areas.

He pointed out that shelter homes were established across Pakistan, where labourers and passengers can stay, along with food facility free of cost. The homes that were introduced in Lahore and Peshawar were growing in number and were providing shelter and food to people who could not afford to pay rent.

Prime Minister Imran also announced that work on the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme was underway. He said affordable houses will be provided to common people under the housing scheme launched recently.

He said the government has started Ehsas programme to mitigate sufferings of common people. He said goats, hens, and cattle will be provided to poor families in villages so that they can become financially independent. Imran Khan said he fully realizes that inflation has gone up in the country. He said tough days will soon end as the country is passing through difficult times.

Earlier, speaking on the occasion, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said Sehat Insaf Card scheme will soon be introduced in Rawalpindi. He said 157 billion rupees have been provided for 473 development projects in Rawalpindi Division. The Chief Minister said Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology will be upgraded to center of excellence for heart related diseases along with a facilitation center for rehabilitation of patients suffering from paralysis.

The chief minister announced that ring road will be constructed at a cost of Rs50 billion and signal free expressway will be completed with Rs70 billion.

Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said Mother and Child Hospital will have 11 operation theaters to facilitate the people of Rawalpindi. He said he has established 60 educational institutions for women and now Lai Express will be completed with a total length of 21 kilometers.

Meanwhile chairing a briefing on Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for 2019-2020 here at the Prime Minister Office (PMO), PM Imran Khan said that development of backward and less developed areas is top priority of government. The economic development is not possible without bringing less developed and backward areas at par with other parts of the country. The prime minister directed working on a coordinated plan for Karachi in consultation with provincial and local governments.

He said that promotion of knowledge-based economy is vital for economic development to utilise youth's potential. He also emphasised on introducing innovation and modern technology to fully utilise country's capacity in agriculture sector.

Imran Khan said that in past, projects were launched under PSDP, but no attention had been paid on their completion and operationalisation. He directed the Minister for Planning to especially focus on completion and operationalisation of every project started under PSDP.

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