ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday said that when reforms are carried out, it takes time; pressing a button will not bring a new Pakistan, which is the name of struggle, a change of system and change of mindset, and it has already started.
He emphasised that no country can develop with a sea of the poor, and the new Pakistan will take time. Imran Khan was addressing the inaugural function of Construction Expo 2021 here. He pointed out that it took two years for the courts to approve the foreclosure, now the way will be open for banks to finance houses.
Then our 22 crore population, he noted, will become an asset as demand will increase, after which the industry will grow and all related businesses will also grow. “My government is trying to figure out how we can uplift our poor, where a small class is rich and the rest is a sea of the poor,” he said.
The premier said India and China were at the same place 35 years ago, but today China is in the skies while India has a sea of poverty, the reason being that a small section of India is rich, but the rest are poor, while China lifted millions out of poverty and became a superpower today. The prime minister said that if Pakistan is to move forward, it must keep the state of Madina as a role model.
“Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) proved that a nation which had no status in the world was created and then He led the world,” the premier noted.
He said that no policy was formulated for the lower class in Pakistan either, English medium was made for a small class and a separate system of education was made for others; jobs were for upper class while the rest could not come to the top. “When we were young, government hospitals used to run well,” he said.
Imran Khan said the policy of the government should be to uplift the class which has gone down for the last 70 years, therefore the construction sector is very important.
The premier said coronavirus pandemic also contributed to poverty. “During corona, I personally called the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), because we were in the IMF programme and unfortunately could not give tax relief, but I got that relief by calling. We met again and again then and realised that we had put so many obstacles in the way of business, construction and industry, our system became such instead of helping to encourage the industry and increase wealth,” he said.
He added, “We have worked tirelessly to remove the barriers, there are still barriers but fewer than two years ago, there are concessions for construction that had never been there before and we will make further improvements.”
He said the problems with the FBR will be solved. He said Finance Minister Shaukat Tareen understands these things, the economy is the best on construction, it will increase wealth and the loans, which have been taken, and will be paid back only when the economy will improve.
“We meted out injustice to the country by not paying attention to exports. How can the economy be better without exports? No one thought of exports except textiles,” he reminded.
The prime minister said that it was the job of the government to create facilities for the industry, but it was the business community’s job to help the government by paying taxes so that it could fix the infrastructure and meet the education, health and other basic needs of the people.
He regretted that the people do not pay taxes and then demand facilities. “It is like we want to go to Jannah but can’t do good deeds. Unless you pay taxes, how will the country’s wealth increase and how will the government facilitate you. We want to help you so that your wealth increases and it’s a two-way system; you help us by paying taxes so that the government could improve the infrastructure and provide basic amenities to masses,” the premier said.
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