--Two--LAST-- Lahore--

--Two--LAST-- Lahore--

LAHORE: About the power losses, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Nawaz Sharif government had put the power sector under huge debts, adding the circular debt of power companies stood at 1200 billion rupees today while it was 480 billion rupees when the Nawaz Sharif government came into power in 2013.

He said the gas sector and Railways were faced with a deficit of 157 billion rupees and 132 billion rupees, respectively, while Pakistan Steel was closed down under the Nawaz government.

He informed the journalists that Nawaz Sharif spent Rs 650 million on foreign tours, while 70 million rupees were incurred on the construction of the wall of Jati Umra residence of the Sharifs.

On the anti-encroachment and anti-land grabbers drive, PM Imran Khan said the government had recovered 4,647 kanal land worth Rs 200-300 billion in the federal capital, while 2,000 acres of land had been vacated in Punjab, adding 2,400 kanal of this vacated land in Punjab was grabbed by a politician. He said the government could not use this money immediately due to legal implications.

To a question, the prime minister said the Local Bodies system would empower the masses at the grass-root level through village councils, adding the government would also ask the Sindh and the Baluchistan governments to follow the KPK and Punjab models.

About the economic challenges, he said the government was weighing various options before going to the IMF for assistance, adding some friendly countries had been approached to put some money in the SBP so that the government did not have to go to the IMF.

He said the government was determined to put the FBR and the governance system on the right track.

"CM Usman Buzdar was a symbol of change and would be the most successful chief minister in the political history of the country", the prime minister responded.

To a query, he said the deficit could only be grappled through restructuring of different government institutions.

PM Imran Khan said Pakistan had been far behind other countries in the human development area in the South Asia, adding the social indicators were also poor.

He said corruption was eating away the body politic of the country like termite. He said common people were the target of 90 per cent indirect taxes, while the developed countries accumulated revenue through direct taxes.

About the performance of the provincial ministers, Prime Minister Imran Khan said, "I had promised the nation that I would deliver. The cabinet has been working hard to set the agenda for the coming years in light of the first 100 days performance."

The prime minister also thanked the journalists who had worked with him for the last 22 years political struggle.

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, Federal Ministers Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Shafqat Mahmood, Provincial Minister Fayazul Hassan Chohan, Naeemul Haq and MNAs were also present on the occasion.