Imran Khan promises agriculture package

Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that a detailed package will be announced next week for the uplift of agriculture sector.

Speaking in the National Assembly, he said Pakistan has signed an agreement with China for cooperation in the agriculture sector.

He said under this agreement China will cooperate with us in seeds production and technology transfer which will help bolster our agriculture production.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said “we will expand the industrial base in the country to create job opportunities and enhance our exports. He said it is the first time after 1960 that a government has taken steps to uplift the industry.”

“We have given incentives to the industrial sector and they will be given more incentives in future as well,” he added.

Imran Khan pointed out that money laundering is the biggest curse faced by the country. “We have to meet the challenge of current account deficit,” he said.

He appreciated his economic teams for taking the steps that brought down the current account deficit by 30 percent. He said we will also crack down on the money laundering and the loopholes in the relevant laws will be plugged.

The Prime Minister said that the remittances have also witnessed an upsurge and “we are also striving to bring more foreign direct investment in the country.”

For this purpose, “we are taking steps to ensure ease of doing business in the country.”

Regarding the government housing project, the Prime Minister said that different schemes will be launched in the next week which will create job opportunities which will support about forty industries associated with the construction sector.

He said “we have also cut our imports and import of exotic food items will be discouraged.”

The Prime Minister assured that in these difficult times our effort will be to protect the poor and vulnerable segments of the society and put the burden only on affluent class.

Referring to the steps taking in the budget in the federal budget 2019-20, he said allocations for Ehsas have been enhanced from 100 billion rupees to about 190 billion rupees.

The Prime Minister said that special emphasis have been given in the budget for the development of neglected areas including Balochistan and tribal districts.

He appreciated the Armed forces for freezing their budget. He said this amount will be used for development of tribal district.

He said “we have initiated austerity drive. He said it is the first time that Cabinet members cut their salaries by 10 percent while expenditures of PM secretariat have also been cut substantially.”

He said a separate package of 45 billion rupees have been allocated to the development of Karachi and we allocate more funds for the metropolitan.

Alluding to the speech made by Opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif on the floor of the house about the devaluation of rupee, the Prime Minister said that the ruling elite of the past is responsible for the current devaluation as they laundered the money abroad. He revealed that ten billion dollars of resident Pakistanis are stashed abroad.

The Prime Minister also wondered how the looter of the public money can be allowed to speak on the floor of the house. He said details are emerging as to how PPP Co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari sent money abroad through Hundi and Hawala. Sharif Family was also involved in illegal transfers of money, he claimed.

The Prime Minister also reminded the PPP about revelations made by former US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice in her book about the role played by the US in the NRO between Musharraf and the PPP. He said the PML (N) was nurtured by a military dictator.

The Prime Minister appreciated the quality speeches made by his party members in the house on the budget. He also thanked the allied parties for standing with the PTI in the passage of the budget. The House has now prorogued.