The government has formulated a comprehensive strategy to pull poor and weaker segments of society out of poverty through wealth creation and improving purchasing power of people, said Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday.
While presiding over a meeting of the Kamyab Pakistan Programme, he cited the examples of China and India and said, unlike India which had failed, China had successfully steered millions of people out of poverty during the last 30 years.
“Besides extending financial assistance to the downtrodden segments of the society, the government’s foremost priority is to make the people economically self-reliant,” he added In an informal briefing, an adviser to the prime minister told media persons that the government could not diminish inflation but it was taking steps to improve the purchasing power of common man.
“We cannot bring down the prices to their previous place, but we can improve the purchasing power of the people so that inflation may not affect them.”He said.
Prime Minister Khan said the government had taken a number of steps to improve the purchasing power of people as a hefty amount of Rs1.1 trillion had been given to the farmers and agriculture sector in the form of subsidies that was benefitting 70 percent population of the country living in rural areas.
The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, Special Assistants to the PM Waqar Masood and Usman Dar, Naya Pakistan Housing Authority chairman retired Lt Gen Anwar Ali Haider, Habib Bank chairman Sultan Ali Alana, Punjab Bank president Zafar Masood, and senior officials concerned and stakeholders.
The meeting was briefed about the Kamyab Business, Kamyab Kissan, and Kamyab Hunarmand programmes and whole-sale lending for low-cost housing schemes under the Kamyab Pakistan Housing project in Kamyab Pakistan Programme.
On the instructions of the prime minister, the government has brought all youth-related programme under the umbrella of Kamyab Pakistan Programme.
The meeting was told that Kamyab Pakistan Programme would play an important role in enhancing economic activities in the country and making people self-dependent in terms of employment.
Meanwhile, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said in a statement that all high-frequency data showed improvement in the economy, and growth rate was being estimated at about 3.94 percent.
During the current fiscal year, the government had to repay about $10.36bn on account of external loans, including principal and interest payments, while expected inflows were estimated at $14.37bn, he added.
“During the first 10-months of FY2020-21, the government has repaid $7.52bn, including $6.31bn as principal and $1.21bn as interest payments. In order to discharge its various obligations, the government borrowed $10.5bn as programme and project loans in the same period. Thus, the net inflow of external loans is $2.98bn. In addition, the government also repaid $2bn to Saudi Arabia during the current fiscal. Hence, the actual net inflows further decreased to $0.98 billion only.”The minister said.
Prime Minister Khan inaugurated the first Ehsaas One Window Center here on Wednesday. The center aims to provide services related to all components of the Ehsaas programme to the poor at one platform.
Soon such centers would be opened across all districts of the country, said Special Assistant to the PM on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection Dr Sania Nishtar.
“This is the basis of a welfare state,” the prime minister said as Dr Nishtar briefed him on the center offering 20 services under the Ehsaas programme.
The services include Ehsaas Hunar, Ehsaas Utility Store, Langar Khana, Waseela Taleem, Ehsaas Nashonuma, ATM for payment to Ehsaas Kafalat beneficiaries, One Woman One Account, Ehsaas Tahaffuz, Ehsaas Wifi Café, Ehsaas Scholarship, Ehsaas interest-free loans, and Nadra office for biometric verification.
During the briefing, Dr Sania told the prime minister that the One Window Center had multiple pillars including Ehsaas Digital, mobile application, back office and beneficiary policy.
She said the nationwide survey was 91 percent complete that, after integration, would be accessible to all Ehsaas organs to enable them to ascertain the eligibility and needs of an applicant.
Dr Sania said through One Window Digital, the frequently asked questions of the people regarding scholarships, loans etc. would be responded in simple Urdu.
Moreover, the mobile application would enable people to locate the nearest Panahgah or Langar Khana.