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December 4, 2020

2 million families to benefit from Ehsaas Kafaalat policy: PM

Top Story

December 4, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday said that two million families will benefit under the new Ehsaas Kafaalat policy for special persons.

The prime minister tweeted, “They will be eligible for a monthly stipend of Rs2,000. This is a step towards a disability-inclusive and sustainable post COVID-19 world.”

Meanwhile, the comprehensive performance report of Pakistan Citizen Portal will be presented to the prime minister today (Friday) on the completion of its operation of the two years.

The Pakistan Citizen Portal, which came into being on October 28, 2018, has been the focus of attention not only nationally but also internationally. With over 2.5 million registered members and over 2 million complaints resolved, the portal app continues to gain popularity.

On completion of two years, Prime Minister Imran Khan will address the ceremony. It is pertinent that 8,913 government departments are directly accountable to the public through the Pakistan Citizen Portal app.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said that in view of rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic, implementation of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) needed to be ensured.

Dr Faisal Sultan, Special Assistant for Health, and Dr Yasmeen Rashid, Punjab Minister for Health, met Imran Khan here and briefed him on the corona situation in the country. The prime minister was informed that the first wave of the virus was contained due to the government’s smart lockdown policy, but the current carelessness, especially the gathering of large numbers of people in one place, could lead to the quick spread of the pandemic.

Dr Yasmeen Rashid briefed the prime minister on the steps taken in the health sector in Punjab. The prime minister said that providing quality basic healthcare to the people was the top priority of the government.

Meanwhile, the prime minister chaired a meeting on energy sector reforms. Imran Khan was briefed on the progress made on the reform process.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Minister for Information Shibli Faraz, Minister for Industrial Production Hammad Azhar, Minister for Energy Omar Ayub, Trade Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood, Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Special Assistant Nadeem Babar, Special Assistant Tabish Gohar and other senior officials.

The prime minister directed to ensure implementation of the package given to the industries. The meeting was informed that the ECC has approved the tariff and subsidy to be given under this package which will be applicable from last November.

The meeting was also given a detailed briefing on the negotiation process with the IPPs. The prime minister directed to come up with sustainable solutions to the problems related to the energy sector. He also directed to take all possible steps to provide facilities to the people.

Meanwhile, Imran Khan said that it was very important for the country at this time to keep the wheel of economy running in which the role of construction sector was very important.

“We have to ensure the provision of facilities for the industries connected with the construction sector,” he said while presiding over the weekly meeting of the National Coordination Committee for Housing, Construction and Development.

Another meeting was informed that the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) and National Logistics Cell (NLC) have started work on Ravi Urban Development Authority and the timeframe for completion of various phases of the project has been clearly fixed. The meeting was also briefed on the partnership process with Chinese companies.

The meeting on NCC on Housing and Construction was attended by Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz, Adviser to Prime Minister Dr Ishrat Hussain, special assistants Malik Amin Aslam, Shahbaz Gill, Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Waqar Masood, federal and provincial secretaries and senior officers.

The SBP governor informed the meeting that the banks have largely met the quarterly targets set for housing and construction. He further said that instructions have been issued to the banks to provide more facilities to the customers in this regard. He pointed out that more than 100 SBP officials were doing ‘mystery shopping’ at various banks on a daily basis to gather and ensure information about the facilities available to the customers.

The CDA chairman informed the meeting that the process of automation was in full swing and it would be completed by the end of this month. With the completion of this process, the public will not have to visit offices unnecessarily. He said the CDA has received maps of four of the 12 commercial plots sold in the New Blue Area on which construction work will start soon.

The prime minister noted that Islamabad is the only city in Pakistan which was built under a complete plan, but now the beauty of this city is deteriorating. He directed that steps be taken to save the green areas in Islamabad.

Meanwhile, the premier chaired another meeting regarding Pakistan Island Development Authority and Ravi Urban Development Authority, which was attended by Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz, Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Special Assistants Shahbaz Gill, Zulfiqar Bukhari, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, Chairmen of New Pakistan Housing Authority, Ravi Urban Development Authority and Pakistan Island Development Authority.

Imran Khan said that these two projects are of utmost importance in view of the growing demand in the housing sector. The prime minister directed that the positive aspects of these projects need to be highlighted. He called for awareness campaigns to bring to the notice of the people that many of our economic and environmental problems will be solved through these projects.

“People will have jobs and employment opportunities and environmental pollution will be reduced. We have to ensure full participation of Pakistanis abroad in these projects as well,” he contended.

The prime minister further directed that timelines should be fixed for timely completion of various phases of these two projects and their implementation should be ensured. The meeting was briefed on the progress made so far on both the projects.

Meanwhile, Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, telephoned Imran Khan and expressed his determination for closer relations among the Commonwealth countries.

During the telephonic conversation, Prince Charles said that the relations between the two countries are a sign of best friendship. He also offered condolences to Imran Khan over the loss of lives due to coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan and said that the British High Commission was providing assistance to the weaker sections of Pakistan during the pandemic.

Speaking on the occasion, Imran Khan called for joint efforts to address global challenges. The two leaders also agreed on joint efforts for climate change and environmental protection.

The Prince of Wales welcomed Pakistan’s commitment to tackling the threat of climate change. He said that the United Kingdom would continue to support Pakistan in increasing its use of renewable energy.

Prime Minister Imran Khan will address the United Nations General Assembly’s two-day special session on the response to coronavirus pandemic today (Friday).

According to the speakers list, there are 141 speakers inscribed, including 53 heads of state, 39 heads of government four deputy prime ministers and 38 ministers. They will address the session through pre-recorded videos. The speech of the prime minister will be broadcast around 3:00am PST.

Earlier, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Munir Akram will speak in his capacity as president of the UN Economic and Social Council.

Member states will engage in dialogue with participants to jointly take stock of the current response identify policy and operation gaps and forge a united coordinated and people-centred path forward.