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Pakistan still cheapest country in subcontinent, claims PM Imran Khan

By Mumtaz Alvi
March 08, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday said that Pakistan was still the cheapest country in the Sub-continent and much cheaper as compared to many other countries. He also promised to give more relief as long as people kept paying taxes.

He called the Ehsaas programmes and relief in oil and electricity rates a part of the roadmap, which leads to the State of Madina that had established a system based on humanity and the rule of law for all.

PM Imran said this while addressing a ceremony to launch the Ehsaas Riayat Rashan Programme here. He emphasized that petrol and diesel prices in Pakistan were still cheaper in comparison to even Dubai and the UAE though they have their own oil reserves.

He made a promise to the nation that as long as they keep on giving taxes, the government would continue enhancing the scope of welfare programmes for the people. The prime duty of the welfare state was to lift its down-trodden segments of the society, he said.

The prime minister noted that the wave of inflation was not only in Pakistan but in the whole world but Pakistan was still a cheap country and the government was giving huge subsidies to control inflation. He said: "If (tax) collection increases, petrol, diesel and electricity will be made cheaper, 20 million families will benefit from the Ehsaas Riayat Ration Scheme and registered persons will get flour, ghee and pulses 30pc cheaper."

By the end of the month, he maintained health insurance will be available in every province except Sindh, saying it was the responsibility of the state to involve the weaker sections in the development process.

The prime minister said that health card is a big project and under it, every family will get health insurance of Rs1 million and poor families can get treatment from any hospital, including private hospitals. Heart transplants have also been performed on health cards at a private hospital, he said.

He noted that this facility was not available even in rich countries and this was the initiative of the welfare state in the style of Madina. The concept of welfare state has been taken from the state of Madina all over the world but unfortunately very few Muslim countries have made efforts to develop such a state, he said.

The prime minister was of the view that only a person who has the pain of humanity can do welfare work, the service of humanity is very pleasing to Allah Almighty and the government has started a great program, which is a part of the roadmap of the state of Madina.

He contended that the state of Madina had established the rule of law and bringing the weak and mighty under the law. "It is a big battle to establish the rule of law, which is raging against the mafias presently and to lift the oppressed sections of the society. It was the record tax collection, which enabled us to provide huge relief in oil prices and electricity tariff by Rs10 on petrol and diesel each and Rs05 on electricity per unit. When the state of Madina will get money, it will spend on those who deserved most after meeting its requirements,” he noted.

The PM said the government was providing financial assistance to deserving families under the Ehsaas program. The World Bank has also ranked the Ehsaas program as one of the three or four major programs in the world, which also protected people from the effects of coronavirus. The prime minister said that 98pc of the money of Ehsaas program is being given to women, as the country cannot develop until education is imparted to females, as only a literate mother can lead the whole family.

The prime minister regretted that it was a great tragedy that children who are out of schools, have not been given due attention in the past but the incumbent government was taking measures to introduce them to schooling.

He pointed out that owing to lack of food, children do not get proper upbringing and development. "Now we are starting this scheme in every district, as tax collection will increase the funds." The prime minister paid tributes to Dr. Sania Nishtar and her team for providing financial assistance to deserving families under the Ehsaas program.