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Loans pile up, little money left for people: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Sunday said that during the past years, huge loans had piled up and after payment of instalments, little money was left for welfare of people. He was speaking at the virtual inaugural ceremony of the 'Bhuka Na Soye' [None should go to bed hungry] initiative under the Ehsaas programme here.

“Today we have huge piles of debts and limited resources to spend money on people. “Despite that, Allah has commanded us to follow that path; then this path is the path of supremacy of law and humanity.

“It is our key responsibility to take care of the weaker sections of society,” he added. The PM said it was his belief that when the state would take the responsibility of delivering food to the homes of deserving people, and they would be able to eat two meals a day, the blessings of Allah would descend on Pakistan. He said ‘Koi Bhuka Na Soye’ initiative had been expanded to Peshawar, Lahore and Faisalabad, which would benefit the deserving and low-income classes, enabling people to eat two meals a day.

The PM disclosed that a network of kitchen trucks would be set up all-over Pakistan: meals on wheels. He said Pakistan came into existence with a purpose, but could not follow that path. He said more shelter homes would be opened for labourers, coming from other cities.

Congratulating the chief ministers of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the PM said, “You have no idea yet how much work has been started”. He emphasised that blessings and prosperity come from God, but it was up to humans to make efforts for them. He added that he wanted people working in government departments and ministries to realise that their biggest responsibility after coming to power was toward the segment that was poor.

He thanked the Saylani Welfare trust and remarked: “You are very lucky people because of the work you are doing. Pakistan is one of the few countries where people donate the most.” He recalled that people proved that during the construction of Shaukat Khanum Hospital and with their help patients were being treated free-of-cost today.

Though, he noted the cancer treatment was expensive, yet 75 per cent patients were being treated free. Another hospital in Peshawar had also become operational, and yet another would be built in Karachi. He said that Shaukat Khanum Hospital became operational 25 years ago and had so far spent Rs50 billion on the treatment of the poor patients.

He said that health insurance was being provided for the first time in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. PM Imran Khan said in the next phase, a network of private hospitals would be built across the country.

Imran Khan noted that for the first time in Islamabad, health card coverage was being provided to the population. He said there would be a trend of competition in hospitals in terms of quality as a citizen, who has a health card, might go to any hospital for treatment.

Earlier, Senator Dr Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Social Security, said at the beginning of the event that it was the policy of Prime Minister Imran Khan that no one in the country should go to bed hungry.

She said the Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and Social Security was fully mobilised to make the policy a reality. Chief ministers of Punjab and KP attended the event via video conference. The programme is already active in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

Separately, talking to Mufti Rahim, administrator of Jamiatul Rashid, Karachi, who called on him here, PM Imran Khan said the government's first priority was to strengthen the rule of law by correcting the system that facilitates the corrupt elements.

He emphasised that the government was taking all possible steps to uphold the rule of law. “The same law and punishment for the weak and the powerful in the offices can only improve the system,” he said.

The meeting was attended by Governor Sindh Imran Ismail, Leader of Opposition Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh, Rafiuddin, Zubair Moti, Col (retd) Abdul Maghni and Khalilur Rehman Maulakhel.

The PM discussed in detail the vision of the state of Madina. In addition, increasing foreign investment owing to the government's business-friendly policies was also part of the discussion.

Separately, a delegation of Saylani Trust called on Prime Minister Imran Khan, which included Bashir Farooq, Afzal Chamdia, Manzar Alam, Farrukh Amin, Irfan Wahid, Salman Iqbal, Imtiaz Hussain and Yousuf Lakhani. Member National Assembly of PTI Farrukh Habib was also present.

The Trust appreciated the prime minister's initiative with regard to provision of free meals and offered to expand the program to various cities across the country. APP adds: Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote a letter to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates earlier this week inviting him to work together against the dangers of climate change.

In his letter dated April 6, the premier praised the American business mogul’s book ‘Avoiding a climate disaster for providing policy-oriented analyses on the critical issue of climate change, challenges confronting the global community’.

He also informed Bill Gates about the climate challenges being faced by Pakistan saying the country was on the front lines of the climate challenge and was amongst the top countries continuously impacted by climate change over the past two decades.

The premier, however, pointed out that Pakistan at the same time was a very low contributor to the issue, adding less than one per cent of the global greenhouse gas emissions. In addition the prime minister said that being a developing country, Pakistan was seeking to achieve climate sensitive economic growth that can only be possible through international cooperation and partnership.

PM Imran briefed the US billionaire about the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led government’s pledge to offer climate solutions to the world focusing on nature-based solutions towards a climate compatible trajectory of growth.

He urged the Microsoft co-founder to lend his assistance and resources to help Pakistan in matters related to the global climate change. The premier concluded his letter by reaffirming Bill Gates idea that the challenge of climate change is one that requires wide scaled collaboration trusted cooperation and a shared green vision for development across countries.

Also, Prime Minister Imran Khan Sunday decided to revisit 55,000 complaints from citizens registered from July 2020 to December 2020 at the Prime Minister’s Citizens Portal. The complaints will be reopened in a phased manner, says a press release of Prime Minister’s Performance Delivery Unit.

According to the Prime Minister Office, senior officers in the government will have another look at the complaints. During the reviewing of the complaints, contact with the relevant citizen and the competent authority in the case will be made.

In the first phase, the cases of property disputes, law and order and human rights will be reopened. About 68,000 complaints related to federal departments and 53,000 from Punjab will be looked into. While 15,000 complaints from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 13,000 from Sindh, 1,800 from Balochistan and 1,200 from Islamabad will be included in the review.