ISLAMABAD - Minster for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz said yesterday that the government has overcome various challenges during the last two years and good days have come as PTI put the country on the path of development and progress.

While addressing a news conference along with other cabinet members about the two-year performance of PTI government, he said good days have begun for people of Pakistan. Positive indicators are being received from each and every department of the country.

He said that the country’s economy has become strong, which is evident from the COVID-19 crisis. He, however, said the government is still facing various challenges, including price-hike, hoarding and smuggling, which will also be addressed.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s topmost priority is to reduce prices of the essential commodities and providing relief to public against inflation.

Shibli Faraz said the PTI government will implement its complete manifesto during its five-year term.

He said the politics of vested interests and corruption is going to end, and it is going to be replaced by the politics of public service.

On the occasion, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Institutional Reforms Dr. Ishrat Hussain said that 73,000 redundant posts, lying vacant for more than one year, have been abolished. He made it clear that the government is not going to deprive anyone of job and we only abolished the redundant posts to reduce size of the federal government as an austerity measure.

He said 440 various federal departments and institutions have been reduced to 324. He said these departments have lost their importance and their reduction will result in saving government expenditure.

The Adviser said automation is our top priority to check corruption, bad governance, and discretionary powers of the government functionaries. He said Information Technology has a cardinal role in introducing automation in government departments to improve their performance. He said business process will be made easy by introducing e-filing.

Dr Ishrat Hussain said they are going to introduce Public Finance Management System under which government departments have to present their reports before the parliament.

He said loss-making entities like Pakistan International Airlines and Pakistan Steel Mills have been continuously bleeding the national economy and now steps are being taken to reform and restructure PIA, PSM and Federal Board of Revenue to make them efficient and modern entities.

He said now refunds of the business community will be given in an automated manner to ensure transparency. It will take some time to remedy 25 years loopholes, said Dr Ishrat Hussein.

Regarding the civil service reforms, the Adviser said earlier cadre officers were offered trainings and now it will be available for non-cadre people as well. He said now promotion to various posts will be made on performance and training basis instead of relying on the seniority only.

Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul said the incumbent government has taken unprecedented steps over the last two years for the protection of environment.

She said the 10-billion Tree Tsunami Project is actively being pursued and it will help provide one million jobs to the youth.

The minister said they are also working with the Ministry of National Food Security on climate resilient agriculture project in order to protect this vital sector of economy from the adverse impacts of the climate change.

Speaking on this occasion, Special Assistant on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said the PTI government had set a five-point agenda to address the climate change challenges.

He said this agenda included Ten Billion Tree Tsunami, Clean and Green Pakistan, Plastic Bags, Electrical Vehicles and Protected Areas.

On the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami, Malik Amin Aslam said the federal government has developed a consensus among the provinces on the project, and it is being implemented in all the four provinces as well as in AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan. He said the target of one billion trees will be achieved in June next year.

The Special Assistant said the Electric Vehicle Policy has been approved. He said charging stations are being installed. He hoped manufacturing of various electric vehicles will start soon in the country.

Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood said that the government has taken all necessary steps for promotion of exports which has helped reduce current account deficit to 3 billion dollars from 20 billion dollars.

He said that country received the record remittances in the month of July this year which is a good omen for the economic stability of the country.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said record legislation was made in the parliament by ensuring working relationship with the opposition, despite political differences.

He said the Parliament unanimously approved making it compulsory to write Khatimun Nabyeen before the name of Holy Prophet in every government documents. He said legislation was made on teaching of Quran in Urdu, Naya Pakistan Housing Authority, Billion Tree Tsunami and to bring Pakistan out of Financial Action Task Force’s grey list.

While commenting on artificial economic tactics of PML-N regime, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz said that the PML-N government disbursed six billion dollars to control artificially dollar rate during its tenure.