The National Assembly was informed on Wednesday that China has extended duty free access to Pakistan on three hundred and thirteen items under the new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to be signed during the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Beijing.
Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood told the house during question hour that China has agreed to provide Pakistan market access on the pattern of Association of South East Asian Nations. He was confident that the second phase of FTA with China will prove to be beneficial for Pakistan.
Abdul Razak Dawood said that the present government has enhanced regulatory duty on finished products in order to cut imports. As a result of these measures, imports witnessed reduction of 3.5 billion dollars over the last nine to ten months. He said we also aim to bolster our exports which will help us reduce the trade deficit.
The Commerce Adviser said that a textile policy is being formulated with the aim to enhance exports of textile related items. He said the textile division has been coordinating with over one hundred textile related institutes, textiles, associations and chambers of commerce and industry for taking their input for the policy. He said the policy will take into account all the different aspects of textile industry and will come up with cogent proposals for the problems faced by the industry.
He said Garment cities at Faisalabad and Lahore are being extended by launching their Phase-II to construct additional buildings for SMEs to start value added products. He said the financial matters relating to three hundred acres of Karachi Garment City and 1250 acres of Pakistan Textile City Limited at Karachi are being resolved to add to value added products.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said the federal government in consultation with the relevant stakeholders, has chalked out a comprehensive plan to streamline the integration process of tribal districts. He said a number of actions have been initiated in financial, security, judicial and administrative domains. He said funds are being released for rehabilitation of displaced families of the tribal districts.
Parliamentary Secretary for Overseas Pakistanis Javaria Zafar told the house that a policy is being finalized for promotion of overseas employment. She said Pakistan has signed MoUs in the fields of manpower and employment with Qatar , Bahrain, UAE , Oman and Malaysia. Efforts are being made to sign the MoUs with Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan and other potential labour receiving countries. She said that a special task force has also been constituted to work towards the welfare of expatriate Pakistanis.
Responding to a calling attention notice, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said that National Disaster Management Authority has provided relief assistance of over 204 million rupees to the flood affectees in Balochistan. He said we provided ten thousand ration packets, tents, five hundred blankets and fifteen hundred plastic mats to the flood affectees. He said the provincial disaster management authority also played its part to provide immediate relief to the affected families. He said the National Disaster Management Authority has been directed to devise a robust response mechanism in order to effectively cope with any disaster like situation.
Responding a calling attention notice, Parliamentary Secretary for Commerce, Shandana Gulzar Khan said that Pakistan’s exports to India had shrunk significantly after the Pulwama incident due to imposition of two hundred percent duties on Pakistani products by the Indian government. She said Pakistan used to export ninety eight percent of its dried dates to India and this export has also got affected due to the enhanced Indian duties. She said we have also increased duties on certain Indian products. She said we are exploring other markets to export our dates.
Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari laid before the house The Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Bill, 2019 to make provisions for raising alert, response and recovery of missing and abducted children.
Responding to the points raised by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari the other day in the house about the performance of PTI government, Senior PTI leader Asad Umar recalled that four finance ministers were changed in the PPP government between 2008-13. He said in the PPP era, growth rate remained 0.4 percent, inflation 12.3 percent and budget deficit seven percent. He said the present government has taken difficult decisions with good intention to put the country on the path of sustainable growth trajectory. He was confident that Pakistan will emerge strong from current situation.
Responding to the points of BNP leader Akhtar Mengal about the problems of Balochistan province, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said that a bill on enforced disappearances has been drafted and sent to the law ministry. She said that she has also taken Prime Minister Imran Khan into confidence on the bill and expressed the confidence that work on it will be expedited after his China visit.
Shireen Mazari said it is the commitment of present government to make Baloch people stakeholders of development in Balochistan. She, however, said that bringing change in the life of the Baloch people will require some time as transformation cannot be made in eight months on the deprivation of decades after decades.