Focus is on improving exports, promoting industrialisation and creating opportunities
Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday released its three-year performance report, highlighting the key achievements of his government.
Addressing a ceremony in Islamabad, Khan said that his government’s focus is on improving exports, promoting industrialisation and creating business opportunities in Pakistan. He promised to “bring thousands of under-privileged people out of poverty by offering interest-free loans, health insurance, technical education and affordable housing.” He has also vowed to fight corruption with increased automation in different sectors. Industries, education, health and agriculture reforms were some of the areas of focus in his speech.
The government issued a 251-page report detailing the achievements of 44 public bodies including ministries, divisions and departments from 2018 to 2021.
Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme for 15 million families worst affected by the pandemic, affordable housing projects for low-income groups, health cards, subsidies for farmers, skills and scholarship initiatives for youth and climate change actions were some of the key initiatives of the government.
The government’s Rs203 billion Ehsaas Emergency Cash initiative provided a one-time cash grant of Rs12,000 ($78) to 15 million families (nearly 109 million people) at risk of extreme poverty and those experiencing economic hardship. The launch of 17 Panagahs (shelter homes) has offered bed and breakfast facilities to over 1.8 million beneficiaries. Khan also launched soup kitchens program under the hunger-free initiative would offer free ready-to-eat meal to the needy
The government launched low-cost housing schemes for deserving families under which they can avail financial assistance upto PKR 500,000/- through Akhuwat Islamic Microfinance. Funds amounting to Rs 7 billion have been released to Akhuwat. At least 7,000 houses and units have been complete as of June 2021.
Khan described the introduction of a single national curriculum as one of the major initiatives. The government has launched scholarship programmes for low-income group students. Almost 69,000 students are being financed in FY 2020-21 at a total expense of Rs 8.46 billion. Technical and vocational training reforms and skills and distance learning programmes are also among some of the initiatives.
During the past 3 years, Pakistan’s IT sector has made significant progress, the report noted. “The number of IT companies have increased to 4,641 as of June 2021 compared to 1,762 in June 2018 while the IT & IT-enabled Services (ITeS) export remittances comprising of computer services and call centre services are expected to reach US$2 billion by the end of FY 2020-21.” The government aims to transform Pakistan into a knowledge-based economy to drive innovation and entrepreneurship by investing in startup incubators and setting up special technology zones across the country.
During the fiscal year 2021, the growth in the industrial sector has been estimated at 3.6 per cent with “remarkable growth of 9.3 per cent in large scale manufacturing and 8.3 per cent in small scale.” The government is facilitating mobile device manufacturing, auto industry development to achieve efficient, sustainable and inclusive industrial development.
PM Imran Khan is pushing the “Make in Pakistan” goal with incentives for manufacturers and business-friendly initiatives. The government aims to drastically reduce the import bill and boost export. In the fiscal year 2021, Pakistan exported goods worth US$25.3 billion – the highest-ever export of goods in the country’s history.
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