Sunday December 03, 2023

Never assume power unprepared: PM Imran Khan

PM said, 'When you assume office, you should know fully what is your agenda and how it is to be implemented,'

December 23, 2020

Never assume power unprepared: PM Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday the new government shouldn’t assume power without preparation as the system is different for those who see it from outside, and for those who work within the system.

The premier said the PTI-led government did not "have excuses anymore" and that it was "time for performance now". Speaking at an event here to sign the Centre's performance agreements for 2020-21, Imran Khan underlined that at the time of transfer of power from one government to another following the general elections, the previous leadership should provide a complete briefing to its successor on the US pattern.

“When we (the PTI) came into the government, it took us three months to understand things and form our team," he said, adding that Pakistan needed to review its systems. "We're gradually learning things (even now)."

The prime minister noted that the first thing was that we should review the system and after once your team was made, then it should be given full time and before assuming the government, there should be specifically government preparation, as to how will you give governance and there should be comprehensive briefing.

For instance, he continued that there should be complete briefing on Railways, as to what exactly was the situation there and then there should be special comprehensive briefings on economy; like what exactly were deficits and what was the electricity and gas situation. “When you assume office, you should know fully what is your agenda and how it is to be implemented,” he said.

“Everything that one saw from outside was entirely different and then there were so many figures, particularly in power sector, and for one and a half years, they did not have idea about actual figures,” he said.

When any ministry’s figures was communicated, he noted, they were supposed to be doing very well and then another figure was shared, which showed that they were not doing that well. The prime minister pointed out that power sector was the biggest challenge to provide affordable electricity to consumers, whereas the government was providing subsidies of billions of rupees, but it was being used both by the poor and the rich. He said there was a need to rationalise provision of subsidies to the targeted populace and deserving people as well as for the development of backward areas.

He stressed the need to enhance exports and control inflation in the country while the growing bill of pensions was also one of the biggest challenges the country was facing. He directed Dr Ishrat Hussain, present among the audience, to formulate a comprehensive plan to meet this challenge.

The prime minister said greater focus would be made on the agriculture sector to increase productivity and job opportunities for the youth. In this context, he said, the government was seeking China's cooperation in the agriculture sector under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

About problems emerged after transfer of powers and shifting of various subjects to provinces under 18th Amendment, Imran Khan said, “We need to review the system for better performance. What the federal government can do if a province does not release wheat well in time, creating difference in prices of the commodity. In such a situation blame is shifted to the Centre,” he said.

Similarly, he said, the Ministry of Environment has been devolved to provinces and the Centre could not formulate a uniform policy. He said this subject should also be kept with the federal government, saying, “We will have to work on all these distortions.

The premier said it was his habit to look at everything in his life to see what could be done better or improved. "We have two-and-a-half years left to take the government's performance forward. We no longer have excuses. It's time for us to perform... It's time for performance now. We need to put pressure on ourselves to perform and our ministers also need to put pressure on themselves to improve performance as well," he added.

Imran Khan mentioned that his government would now follow the A-grade projects and fast-track other top ones as they usually "get stuck in one ministry or the other".