ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan yesterday snubbed the ‘colonised minds’ over his ‘chicken formula’ to improve the country’s economy.

The premier cited the poultry initiative taken by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to silence his critics who made his ‘chicken formula’ a laughing stock.

PM Khan tweeted: “For the colonised minds when desis (locals) talk about chickens combating poverty they get mocked, but when ‘walaitis (Europeans)’ talk about desi chicken and poverty it’s brilliance!”

In a November 29 speech on completion of his government’s 100 days, Imran had told a huge gathering that he will give eggs and chickens to rural women so they can start their own poultry business.

He said the project had been tested and the government will also ensure to provide injections to them for raising the chicken faster.

“We will provide them (rural women) with hens and eggs. I am telling you these things do not need billions of dollars. We have already experimented. We will inject the hens to maximise their protein intake and this way, the rural women will have something to make money out of,” he had said.

In 2016, Bill Gates said a farmer starting with five hens could earn $1,000 a year, compared with the extreme poverty line of $700 a year. Eventually Gates wants to help 30 percent of rural African families raise chickens, up from 5 percent.

Gates’ wife Melinda, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said breeding chickens can also empower women by giving them a source of income, which they are more likely than men to spend on education and healthcare.

Gates had acknowledged that some might scoff at the plan, but insisted that he believed it will have an impact. “It sounds funny,” Gates wrote on the project’s website. “But I mean it when I say that I am excited about chickens.”

PM Khan’s plan did not impress the opposition parties who urged him to take more concrete steps to revive the national economy.

This week, the rupee weakened 3.8 percent and closed at an all-time low of Rs139 against the US dollar in the inter-bank market on November 30.

In the opening hours, the rupee hit an intra-day record low of Rs 144 to the greenback in line with the International Monetary Fund conditions.

After the unprecedented high in the dollar rate, the State Bank of Pakistan intervened and contacted to the commercial banks that resulted in a decline in the dollar price.

Later, Prime Minister Khan urged the nation not to panic due to rupee depreciation. He said the rupee depreciation and increase in dollar value was temporary and the positive economic policies will ease burden on people. The PM said the country needs dollars to pay external debts and to manage its balance of payments.