Islamabad - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday has directed the Ministry of Planning, Development & Special Initiatives to finalise the proposed ‘Karachi Transformation Plan’ after taking all stakeholders on board so that it can be approved and implemented without further delay.

The Prime Minister issued these directives during a detailed briefing given to him, which was attended by Minister for Planning, Development & Special Initiatives, Governor Sindh Imran Ismail, Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Zaidi, Chairman NDMA Lt. Gen. Muhammad Afzal, secretaries of relevant ministries and senior officers in person and through video link.

According to the PM Office, the prime minister was updated about Karachi’s problems relating to clean drinking water, sewerage, solid waste management and transport. He was and apprised of the proposals aimed at permanent solution to these problems. A presentation on Karachi Transformation Plan prepared by Planning Ministry was also given in the meeting.

Referring to the problems of Karachi and the development needs of Pakistan’s economic hub, the Prime Minister said that “the development of the country is linked to the development of Karachi.”

Expressing that he fully understands the issues that the people living in Karachi are facing for years now, the premier said the government “can’t turn a blind eye to the plight of the people and the federation will play its full role for the solution and development of Karachi’s problems.”

The Prime Minister directed to finalize the plan to address Karachi’s problems and development requirements” and it should help finding a permanent solution to issues such as solid waste management, water shortage, cleaning of nullahs, sewerage and transport.

The meeting comes a week after Karachi was flooded by devastating rain that claimed more than 30 lives.

The port city of Karachi had received the heaviest rainfall in a single day in 53 years. Roads were inundated with water, and, in many areas, houses were flooded with rain water as well. Power supply and mobile signals were disrupted for days due to damage to infrastructure.

The rain, once again, exposed the poor infrastructure and drainage system of the financial hub of the country.

On August 29, Prime Minister had stated that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) were all set to work together to resolve three major issues of the metropolitan city Karachi.

Days after the federal and Sindh governments decided to set aside their differences for the betterment of Karachi, the premier said that the PTI and PPP governments had decided to immediately start working together for cleaning of nullahs, devising a permanent solution to the solid waste disposal and sewerage problems and ensuring water supply to the city.

Following the devastation of the metropolis, the Prime Minister had promised that his government would “not abandon” the city’s people “in their time of crisis”.

 

While thanking the nation for peaceful observance of Youm-e-Ashur, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday warned of ‘very tough’ action against elements which tried to create sectarian strife on the occasion.

“I want to thank our nation for the peaceful observance of Ashura in the country. Unfortunately, information has come to me of elements who tried to ignite flames of sectarianism on this occasion,” the Prime Minister said in a tweet.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister said the historic battle of Karbala fought between truth and falsehood made it clear that the real success and steadfastness is the passion to sacrifice everything for revival and promotion of Islamic values.

Reminding people of the Kashmiris struggle, PM Imran said they Kashmiris have kept the teachings of Imam Hussain (RA) alive and just like Karbala, they have also made Kashmir an example of the battle between truth and falsehood.

Govt to provide conducive atmosphere for business activities

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that provision of conducive environment for profitable businesses in the country the foremost priority of the government.

Talking to a delegation of American Business Council (ABC) during a meeting here, the Prime Minister said that the government has announced incentives for the construction sector so that not only this sector could thrive, but also its allied industries could also progress.

He also assured the delegation that all problems faced by the business community were removed.

The Prime Minister further said that a high-level committee had been constituted for the promotion of small and medium levels businesses and removal of all the hurdles in that regard.

He also directed his Advisers on Commerce and Finance to consider the proposals presented by the delegation so that implementation of feasible suggestions could be ensured.

The delegation of the American Business Council (ABC) also presented to the Prime Minister Imran Khan an additional cheque worth Rs 17 million for PM’s Corona Relief Fund on behalf of the Council.  Earlier, the Council had donated Rs 20 million to PM’s Corona Relief Fund.

The delegation appreciated government for facilitating the business community with different initiatives especially the steps taken under ease of doing business.

The members of the delegation briefed the Prime Minister of the business activities and related issues of their respective companies.

The business-friendly policies of the government had encouraged the American companies and they wanted to further expand their investment in Pakistan, the delegation members said.

They also presented to Prime Minister different proposals regarding further facilitating the business community.

The meeting was also attended by Adviser on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Chairman Investment Board Atif Bukhari and other senior officials.