No confusion in Govt's policy to tackle challenge of COVID-19 pandemic: PM

No confusion in Govt's policy to tackle challenge of COVID-19 pandemic: PM

ISLAMABAD-Prime Minister Imran Khan says there has been no confusion in the government's policy to tackle the challenge of COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing at the National Assembly today [Thursday], he said the government immediately enforced lockdown. 

The Prime Minister said because of high density population and high poverty rate in the coutry; implementing complete lockdown for a longer period was not possible. Hence the strategy of smart lockdown was adopted to protect people from both the Pandemic and hunger.

The Prime Minister said National Command and Operation Center was set up to tackle the pandemic effectively in consultation with experts.

He said Tiger Force has been deployed to convince people to observe SOPs to prevent contagion.

The Prime Minister said our health system can cope with the challenge of pandemic if people strictly follow the preventive measures. He warned that burden on hospitals will increase if SOPs are not followed in letter and spirit.

Highlighting his government's priorities, the Prime Minister said to develop agriculture and construction sectors on priority basis, the Government has given thirty billion rupees historic package to provide affordable houses to the people at low interest rate. 

He said to revive industrial sector, duty on thousands of raw materials has been abolished.

Imran Khan said we intend to reopen the tourism sector with SOPs in order to protect the livelihood of the people associated it.

Imran Khan said government launched Ehsaas programme and distributed over 140 billion rupees among 12 million deserving families in a transparent manner, and it plans to expand this program to 16 million families.

Regarding his vision of a welfare state, the Prime Minister said the government has  established two hundred Panagahs in different parts of the country and the network will be expanded. 

The Prime Minister said government believes in equal development of all parts of the country and massive allocations have been made in the new budget for merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and for Baluchistan.

He, however, requested the provinces to provide three percent share of NFC allocations they pledged for the erstwhile FATA.

The Prime Minister the Government has formulated uniform syllabus to be implemented in March next year.

The Prime Minister assured all out efforts to cope with the challenge of locust.

Imran Khan categorically stated that he has no personal enmity with the opposition, but believes that rule of law and accountability of the leadership is imperative for progress.

Rejecting the impression of political victimization he said 90 percent of the cases against the opposition are old.

Turning to the recent sugar scam, the Prime Minister said a landmark inquiry was conducted into the matter which exposed that sugar mills were provided with subsidy of 29 billion rupees in four years but they only paid 4 billion rupees in taxes.

Highlighting the PTI government's achievements in foreign policy, the Prime Minister said Kashmir issue stands internationalized today. He said the whole world is witnessing the persecution of Muslims in India and Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

Expressing concern over the situation in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, he said the Kashmiris' movement for their right to self-determination cannot be suppressed by deploying eight hundred thousand Indian troops in the territory. 

The Prime Minister said Kashmir issue has reached the point of no return after illegal annexation of Kashmir.

He said Modi is a fanatic who is involved in persecution of minorities under his RSS inspired Hindutva ideology.

The Prime Minister said today Pakistan enjoys cordial relations with the United States. He reiterated that Pakistan will not be part of US War but will always be ready to facilitate peace talks. He said the United States acknowledges Pakistan's role in peace process in Afghanistan.

Imran Khan said Pakistan is also trying its best to improve relations between the Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Drawing a comparison of the PTI government's performance with the previous ones, Imran Khan said the present government inherited the current account deficit of twenty billion dollars which has now been reduced to three billion dollars; borrowing from State bank are brough to zero from six trillion rupees.

He said tax collection inreased by 17 percent and non-tax revenue 33 percent before the breakout of the Coronavirus. Foreign Direct Investment rose to 2.1 billion dollars from one billion dollars.