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February 26, 2021

Dealing with future wheat needs, emergency: PM calls for devising comprehensive plan

Top Story

February 26, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday called for drawing up a comprehensive plan to deal with the future wheat needs and any emergency.

He was chairing a review meeting on prices and availability of essential commodities.

Imran was given a detailed briefing on the estimates of wheat production, consumption and needs for the next financial year 2021-22. The meeting was attended by Federal Ministers Khusro Bakhtiar, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Syed Fakhar Imam, Advisor Dr. Ishrat Hussain, Special Assistants Nadeem Babar, Dr. Waqar Masood, Tabish Gohar, Governor SBP Dr. Reza Baqir, Punjab Food Minister Abdul Aleem Khan, Finance Minister Hashim Javan Bakht, chairman FBR and senior officials. Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief secretaries participated in the meeting through the video link.

Imran called for a strict legal action against hoarding and profiteers. Use of information technology, he emphasized, in farm to market transfers and all other factors should be implemented to make the system transparent and provide good value to both farmers and consumers.

He also chaired a weekly meeting on establishment of Central Business District and Ravi City project in Walton Lahore and was given a briefing on the subject.

The meeting was informed that in view of the dense population, the airport used for training flights in Lahore Walton had become unsafe for air flights.

The prime minister expressed great concern over the fact that in the last few years, two or three accidents had occurred at this airport due to overcrowding, but no casualties were reported.

Imran was informed that after establishment of the Central Business District, land worth billions of rupees could be used for full economic activities.

A detailed briefing was given to the prime minister on the progress made so far on the Ravi City project and he was told that special attention was being paid to the environment in the proposed Ravi City.

The prime minister also presided over the weekly meeting of National Coordination Committee for Housing, Construction and Development here.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan reviewed the ongoing construction activities in the country and progress in the approval process of various projects.

Chairing the weekly meeting of National Coordination Committee for Housing, Construction and Development here, he said promotion of construction activities would not only speed up the economic process, but also provide jobs to the people. Therefore, special attention should be paid to this, he added.

He said it must be ensured that the approved development authorities provided all the details of the approved housing societies and construction projects online and on the websites so that the public, especially the expatriates involved in these projects, could protect themselves from any fraud.

Regarding the provision of assistance by the government for the low-income people through the social organization Akhuwat, the meeting was informed that the government had provided Rs5 billion to it.

Considering the success of this project, the government decided to provide another Rs5 billion to the organization. However, Akhuwat said it needed an additional Rs2 billion for the current financial year, which would be provided by the government.

The meeting was informed that under the fraternity project, construction of 16,000 houses would be completed by the end of this year.

The meeting was given a briefing on approval of construction projects, by the Sindh chief secretary.

The prime minister was informed by the Abad representative that about 258 projects in Sindh were awaiting approval and requested the prime minister that the federal government should expedite the approval process.

The prime minister directed the chief secretary to expedite the process of pending approvals.

The premier was also given a briefing by the chairman CDA on One Window Operation in the federal capital and digitization of all land issues and approval of construction projects.

The chairman CDA informed the meeting that a case tracking and management system had been set up for automation of one window operation and the process of transfer and verification of properties was also being digitized.

The meeting was told that an online payment system had been introduced for purchase of property. Since January 1, 403 construction projects have been approved earning the Authority Rs735.5 million.

The meeting was informed that in addition to revenue, work on these approved projects will generate billions of rupees in economic activity.

Addressing the meeting, the prime minister said that the development of construction sector was of key importance for stabilization of economy and recovery from the effects of the Corona epidemic.

He directed all the chief secretaries to keep a close watch on the approval process so that it was not delayed in any way. He directed that a new course of action be taken with regard to new societies and construction projects as well as existing unapproved or illegal housing societies.