PM wants ‘record profits’ to flow down to labourers

(Khuda Ki Basti Sources)Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said the government was cognisant of the impact of global price hike on the people of Pakistan and assured that steps were being taken to save the common man from the price hike.

Talking to a delegation of prominent industrialists and businessmen during a meeting, Imran urged the industrialists and businessmen of the country to support the government in its efforts to provide relief to the common man.

Imran said that the government was promoting small and medium businesses to improve the financial conditions of the middle and poor segments of society. Besides, he added, a long-term policy was being implemented to promote industries and boost exports.

The meeting was also attended by federal ministers Shaukat Tarin, Asad Umar, Hammad Azhar, Khusru Bakhtiar, Fawad Chaudhry, Adviser on Commerce Razak Dawood, Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Minister of State Farrukh Habib, Special Assistant Dr Shahbaz Gill and other senior officials.

A press release in Urdu language quoted the prime minister as telling the participants that the government had taken steps for the promotion of investment and businesses which were never introduced by any past government.

“Due to the business-friendly policies of the government, 10 top companies had posted a profit worth Rs929 billion last year,” Imran said, adding that trickle-down effects of this record profit should reach the labour community.

The prime minister thanked the industrialists and traders, who had increased wages of their employees on his appeal. During the meeting, it was agreed that the maximum monthly wages of the workers would be increased.

Giving an overview of the current state of economy, the prime minister said that Pakistan had become the fourth largest motorcycle manufacturing country in the world. “The production of tractors witnessed a 10% increase, whereas its 90% parts were manufactured locally,” he added.

He said that textile exports policy was part and parcel of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) manifesto even before its coming into the government. “Now its impacts are being felt,” he said. “Textile sector exports have reached the historic level of $21 billion and it is expected to touch $26 billion next year.”

He underlined the need for focusing on defence production and engineering sectors besides promoting the information technology (IT) and textiles. He observed that huge opportunities existed in the IT, agriculture, livestock, machinery and textile sectors for further increasing the country’s exports.

Prime Minister Imran emphasised that he was holding consultations with the business community ahead of his visit to China. “The government will stress on joint ventures between the Pakistani and Chinese industrialists,” he said.

During the meeting, Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa pointed to huge opportunities in the defence production sector and underlined the importance of public-private partnership collaboration. He assured to fully support the government’s policies for the progress of country.

The industrialists also extended full support to the government’s business friendly policies and assured to pass on the impact of their profit earning to the lower tier. They presented certain suggestions for increase in exports, promotion of small and medium entrepreneurs, improvement in the tax system and the prime minister’s upcoming visit to China.

Plug and play model

Meanwhile, chairing a high-level meeting on special economic zones (SEZs), Prime Minister Imran said that the business-friendly policies of the PTI government had made Pakistan the most attractive destination in the region for investment in the industries.

The prime minister emphasised that foreign investment in industries would not only increase employment and exports but also enable technology transfer. “The government is ensuring the system of SEZs on a priority basis on the plug and play model,” he added.

Imran told the meeting that the appointment of the board of governors and the management of the SEZs was being made on merit and non-conflict of interest. He instructed the authorities to ensure timely completion of the measures to facilitate the local and foreign investors.

The meeting was given briefing on the M-3 Industrial Zone, Rashakai, Dhabeji, Bostan and Allama Iqbal industrial cities. The participants were informed that 600 acres of land had been made available for the M-3 economic zone, while work on the infrastructure was in full swing.

Steps against power theft

Separately, Prime Minister Imran chaired a meeting regarding electricity supply in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, particularly matters pertaining to the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco). He said that the government was taking steps to cut line losses and curb power theft.

“The government is making efforts to improve the power transmission system in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” he said, adding that the government institutions were bound to facilitate the people and address their problems on a priority.

Imran took notice of the complaints of the parliamentarians from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa against Pesco. He assured the participants of ensuring merit and transparency in the recruitment process to achieve desired results.

The participants apprised of the prime minister of power outages and its monitoring system, measures to curb power theft and shortage of manpower in Pesco as well as the new recruitment process. The meeting was informed that that a transparent recruitment process had been implemented.

The meeting was also informed that the government had formulated a comprehensive power transmission plan to reduce line losses, which would also help overcome the power shortage, while steps to curb the power theft were also being taken on a priority basis.

Moreover, a digital system was also being introduced to monitor load-shedding at every feeder, which would address the issue of unannounced power outages. Imran directed for resolution of the issues within the given timeframe by enhancing coordination between the federal and provincial departments.

The meeting was attended by federal ministers Pervez Khattak, Murad Saeed, Hammad Azhar, Fawad Chaudhry and Asad Umar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, provincial ministers Taimur Jhagra and Shaukat Yousufzai, and relevant officers.

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