ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday said that the government is cognisant of the problems faced by the poor due to inflation and it is for this purpose that targeted subsidies should be provided to the under-privileged segments of the society.
Premier Imran said this while talking to SAPM on Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar here, who briefed the prime minister on provision of targeted subsidies to the eligible families under the umbrella of Ehsaas programme.
The prime minister said that Kamyab Pakistan, Sehat Sahulat Cards and Ehsaas are the flagship programmes of the government aimed at poverty alleviation and social uplift of the lower segments of the society. The premier directed that a comprehensive awareness programme be launched to inform the masses about how targeted subsidies can be availed.
The meeting was apprised that Ehsaas programme has developed a mobile app in collaboration with National Bank of Pakistan. This application would be used by vendors to provide subsidised items to eligible Ehsaas beneficiaries throughout the country. It was informed that due care has been taken to eliminate chances of misuse of targeted subsidies under the Ehsaas programme.
The briefing was also attended by Minister Finance Shaukat Tarin, Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak, Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, SAPM Dr Shehbaz Gill, Governor State Bank Dr Reza Baqir, President National Bank and senior officers.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke with Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Tuesday, to discuss polio eradication efforts and the Foundation’s support towards improving nutrition as well as financial services in Pakistan.
The prime minister highlighted that more than half of the population in Afghanistan was living below poverty line and in dire need of financial assistance. He requested Gates to consider providing humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people.
The prime minister updated Gates on Pakistan’s continued progress against polio eradication and appreciated the invaluable assistance provided by BMGF in that regard. He added that the country has reported only one case of wild poliovirus (WPV) this year and positive WPV environmental samples have decreased substantially. The prime minister emphasized that while the progress was positive, the work is still ongoing. He stressed that his government remains committed to ending all forms of polio in the country.
Gates praised the prime minister for the progress, and pledged the Foundation’s continued support to the Pakistan polio programme for ensuring that no child in Pakistan is at risk of paralysis due to poliovirus.
Specifically, Gates noted the positive impact of the prime minister’s leadership in convening a meeting with deputy commissioners in high-risk polio districts in August.
Both the premier and Gates expressed concern regarding the health system in Afghanistan, the only other country in the world that is polio endemic along with Pakistan. They discussed the importance of polio campaigns resuming in Afghanistan to stop the disease and protect Pakistan’s recent gains towards ending polio.
Gates congratulated the prime minister for Pakistan’s COVID-19 vaccine roll-out and noted the Foundation’s continued support of government-led programmes, including Ehsaas which is making impressive progress in reducing stunting, and the digitisation of the National Savings Programme through Karandaaz.
Gates offered continued collaboration through the Gates Foundation to improve the health and well-being of Pakistanis. The prime minister thanked Gates for his Foundation’s valuable partnership with Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday expressed satisfaction over the performance of Wapda in ensuring timely implementation of power generation and water conservation projects in the country.
In this connection, Wapda Chairman Lieutenant General Muzammil Hussain (R) called on Prime Minister Imran Khan here. The prime minister was briefed on the progress of various projects under the supervision of Wapda including Diamer, Bhasha and Mohmand dams.
Meanwhile, Minister for National Food Security and Research (NFSR) Syed Fakhar Imam called on Prime Minister Imran Khan here. The premier was apprised of the encouraging trends so far in the production of cotton, wheat, rice, sugarcane and maize crops.
The prime minister was informed that as on September 30, 2021, Pakistan has produced 38.5 million bales of cotton as against 27 million bales during the same period last year.
The premier was further informed that we are on track to easily surpass last year's production figures of 27.5 million tonnes, 8.4 million tonnes, 81 million tonnes and 8.4 million tonnes in wheat, rice, sugarcane and maize production respectively. He appreciated the performance of the Ministry of Food, which is committed to achieving the record export targets of 150,000 tonnes and 463,000 tonnes of mangoes and citrus fruits respectively. The PM appreciated the efforts of the concerned authorities to achieve the historic growth and export targets in the agriculture sector.
Sardar Azhar Tariq Khan, Ambassador of Pakistan to Kyrgyzstan called on Prime Minister Imran Khan. The premier was briefed on the prospects for economic diplomacy with the entire Central Asian region, especially Kyrgyzstan.
The PM directed that regional ties with Kyrgyzstan be strengthened to boost bilateral trade and commerce.
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