ISLAMABAD  -  Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday announced withdrawal of five per cent duty on newsprint and assured all out support in resolving problems being faced by the media industry.

The Prime Minister was talking to a delegation of representatives of Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE) and Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) which called on him in Islamabad. The premier expressed the confidence that the government would soon resolve problems being faced by the country through its prudent policies.

The Prime Minister said that he fully understood importance of media and its role in the nation building and attributed his rise to the position of the chief executive of the country to the independent and vibrant media which had disseminated his message to people in every nook and corner of the country.

Imran said that they believed in independence of media and zero interference in media affairs by the government but it was painful to see when at certain occasions, the media outlets went against the national interests. He referred to the fake and fabricated news about couple of federal ministers which went against the national interest.

During his interaction with media persons, the Prime Minister admitted that the country was passing through a very critical phase but expressed his resolve that they would overcome the economic crisis with the support of people of Pakistan.

He said that the successive governments in the past had blatantly misused the resources of the country and plunged it into a deep economic crisis. He said that the country was under debt of 30 trillion and national economy was in tatters.

The past governments had completely ignored the education, health and other basic amenities and made the lives of the common people miserable. He further said that besides curtailing the lavish spending, the government was encouraging austerity at all levels of governance and also asking people to join them in this austerity drive.

He further said that with the help of the people, the government would definitely overcome the grave economic crisis and would put the economy back on track.

The Prime Minister said that the government wanted to lessen problems of the common man. He said that special emphasis was being laid on education, health and social sectors.

He said that the government was in contact with the friendly countries to overcome economic problems of Pakistan.

Imran Khan said that the government believed in the freedom of expression and also welcomed constructive criticism. However, he said, media should demonstrate responsibility.

Imran said that Pakistan might not have to approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as consultation with ‘friendly countries’ was still underway.

The premier predicted good news for inflation and poverty-riddled masses in the next six months whereas he also vowed to fix the faults in economy with difficult decisions. “Much will change in the upcoming months,” stated Imran.

He said that the government was in contact with the friendly countries to overcome economic problems of Pakistan.

 

GOVT COMMITTED TO REDUCE COST OF BUSINESS

 

Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the government was firmly committed to reducing cost of doing business and improving the country’s ranking in ease of doing business by extending maximum facilitation and provision of all possible support to business community.

The Prime Minister was chairing a meeting of the Council of Business here at Prime Minister’s Office.

The Prime Minister said that in order to strengthen local industry and reduce cost of production, gas prices had been reduced for 5 export-oriented industries to make our products internationally competitive. He said that the government was also considering reduction in various duties including custom duty, regulatory duties and others to further reduce business cost.

He said that the government was also working on developing a national tariff policy to address issues of the business community and to remove anomalies in the existing tariff structure.

On improving country’s ranking in ease of doing business in the country, the Prime Minister said that the government had set the target of bringing the country into the list of first 100 countries by extending maximum facilitation and simplification of the procedures.

The Prime Minister said that a special Complaint and Suggestion Cell was being established at the Board of Investment to facilitate redressal of the complaints of the business community and welcome their suggestions with regards to business policies. He said that the Cell, which would be connected to Prime Minister’s Office, would be functional in a week’s time.

The Prime Minister also appreciated input of the business leaders belonging to various sectors of economy who presented various proposals during the meeting for strengthening of economy and promoting critical sectors such as manufacturing sector, SMEs, agriculture and IT sector.

Those who attended the meeting included among others Ali Tabba, Bashir Ali, Shahid Sooty, Seema Aziz, Azam Farooque, Shahid Abdullah, Khawar Anwar Khawaja, Babar Badar, Saqib Shirazi, Ms. Samina Rizwan, Almas Haider, Abdul Rauf and Mr. Zarak Khan.

Minister for Finance Asad Umar, Advisor on Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood and senior officers were also present during the meeting.

 

 

PM pledges govt’s zero interference in media affairs

 

our staff reporter/Monitoring Desk