Pakistan is not what CNN is showing to world: PM
FAISALABAD – Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday said the PML-N government would complete its term and the general elections would be held on July 15 next year.
Criticising the international news network CNN, he claimed that today Pakistan has been set on the path of progress and “it is not the Pakistan that CNN [and other such western media channels] is showing to the world”.
He was addressing the ground-breaking ceremony of a car plant, which is a joint venture of Hyundai Motor Corporation of South Korea and Nishat Mills Limited (NML), one of the largest integrated textiles mills in Pakistan. The plant would produce passenger cars and 1-ton range commercial vehicles.
The prime minister said the establishment of the car plant by Hyundai showed the trust of investors in Pakistan as well as the government’s sustained policies, which had created conducive environment for investors.
He said this investment was also a manifestation of the fact that the government’s business-friendly policies had started bringing positive results. He expressed the hope the plant, of Hyundai Nishat Motor (Pvt) Ltd in M-3 Industrial city in Faisalabad, would help augment the industrial activity in the country.
He highlighted the PML-N government’s achievements over the last few years particularly in the area of energy and said a number of electricity generation projects were installed, which addressed the issue of electricity shortage.
The prime minister also mentioned the constructions of roads, highways and motorways across the country as well as the establishment of gas terminals during the last over four and a half years and said, the present government did not just utter words but delivered. He added that stability and continuity of economic policies were the hallmarks of PML-N government.
Later addressing the members of the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI), Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that industrialisation had gained momentum in the country as the government had successfully reined in the most ticklish problem of energy shortage.
He said the government had fulfilled its commitment to overcome electricity and gas shortage and now its focus was to cut the cost of doing business, particularly for the industrial sector.
Underlining the importance of industrialisation, the prime minister said that private sector had to play its role for the establishment of new industrial units as government had ensured continuous supply of gas and electricity.
“We are now concentrating to make energy affordable for industry” he said, adding its cost had been increased due to ill-conceived policies of previous governments.
He said the government would facilitate the private sector by providing them best possible infrastructure in the shape of state-of-the-art industrial estates, motorways, etc.
Regarding construction of new civil airport, Abbasi said that he would talk to Punjab government to allocate land for it. He said that industrialists should undertake the project as commercial venture and the Expo Centre should be completed as a business adventure.
He appreciated Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and said he had done excellent work for uplift and development of the province and other provinces should follow suit.
The prime minister said the government was trying to introduce a taxpayer-friendly culture in the FBR in addition to making tax procedure simple and easy. Regarding regulatory duty, he said that federal minister for commerce and textile was reviewing it, however, “we have to discourage import of unnecessary luxury items.”
Commenting on the increased trade deficit, the prime minister said that it was due to the import of machinery for power and other sectors.
He said that Pakistan had huge export potential but it was restricted to only $20 billion. “We must make collaborative efforts to increase our exports up to $50-60 billion per annum.”
The prime minister said the government was also focusing on improvement of small and medium enterprise sector, adding that a strategy was being evolved to reorganise power-loom sector on modern lines.
He asked the FCCI president to pinpoint their problems along with viable solutions to enable the government to resolve these issues without any delay.
FCCI President Shabbir Hussain Chawla presented the welcome address and demanded the establishment of state-of-the-art Expo Centre in Faisalabad and construction of an international airport.
Earlier, FCCI momentum was presented to the prime minister by Chawla.
Punjab Governor Malik Muhammad Rafiq Rajwana, Federal Commerce and Textiles Minister Pervez Malik, State Minister for Power Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali, State Minister for Communication Muhammad Junaid Anwaar, State Minister for Interior Talal Badar Chaudhry, Federal Parliamentary Secretary Rana Afzal, former FPCCI president and Sitara Chemical Industries CEO were also present on the occasion.