Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, following his first official visit to Karachi, announced a Rs25 billion development package for the metropolis and a Rs5bn package for Hyderabad during the current fiscal year.
“We will allocate Rs25bn for Karachi this year and Rs5bn for Hyderabad. Funds for provinces in 2013 were Rs1,200bn and this year we have allocated Rs1,900bn,” said the premier.
Abbasi also expressed satisfaction over progress of current development projects in the metropolis and said the governor is overseeing activities in the city.
He further said that he met the business community in Karachi and the businessmen and traders expressed satisfaction over the city’s situation.
Referring to the support lent to PML-N by MQM-P, Abbasi said that the MQM-P supported the ruling party without placing any conditions on their support.
Commenting on former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s ‘homecoming’ rally, the premier said that it is Nawaz’s right to express his opinions and he has not said anything wrong in his speeches to PML-N supporters.
Prime Minister Abbasi, in a statement, said the federal government will extend complete support for development initiatives in Sindh.
Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah received Abbasi at the airport. Minister of Interior Ahsan Iqbal is also accompanying the prime minister.
Earlier, addressing a meeting with leading businessmen, including members/office bearers of KCCI, FPCCI and Pakistan Business Council, at Governor House, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the objectives of the government were economic growth, creation of jobs and increase in tax collection.
In fact, the objectives of the government and those of the business community were the same. If the business community did not grow, the government would not be able to achieve its objectives.
The prime minister assured the business community that their proposals for economic growth and increase in investment would be honoured, the need was to work in unison for achievement of the shared objectives, he stressed.
Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair, Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal, Governor State Bank of Pakistan and Chairman FBR were also present during the meeting, PM office media wing said in a press release.
The prime minister said there was convergence of interests between the government and the business community as both were determined for economic growth and improvement in business atmosphere in the country.
If the economy was not strong, the country would not grow, he noted. He said there was much potential in the economic and trade sectors and stressed upon the coordinated efforts to tap this
potential for progress and prosperity of our country.
Collectively, the prime minister said, they would resolve the issues confronting them.
He said in the wake of smooth transition, the Cabinet took oath and the government started functioning immediately, which was good for democracy and has renewed confidence of the business community.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that the PML-N government would carry forward the policies made under the leadership of Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.
He said the PML-N government after evolving consensus among all the stakeholders, and due to the unmatched sacrifices of the law enforcement and security agencies has restored peace and glory of the financial hub of the country.
“We will ensure to consolidate the gains on the security front and ensure that economic and trade activities further grow,” he added. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi while appreciating the candid views of the business leaders said the government wanted to facilitate the business community further.
On development, he said the PML-N government has disbursed record amount from the federal divisible pool for generation of economic activities and creation of job opportunities.
In 2013, there was fear of default in the country but the PML-N government created the fiscal space and achieved economic turnaround, he added.
He said, the next step was to translate CPEC and other mega projects into growth.
Regarding security challenges, he said, they had always evolved consensus among all the stakeholders to address these challenges, and would continue to do so.
He announced that he would be holding frequent interactions with them in the coming days to seek their valuable proposals and suggestions in this regard.
The prime minister said that he was extremely happy and thankful to be among the business community in his first visit to Karachi. Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal said the security policy initiated under the former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif would be pursued with full vigour. The security gains would be further consolidated, he added.
The members of the business community congratulated the prime minister on assuming the his office and thanked him for the meeting on his maiden visit to Karachi.
The business leaders lauded the gains in the security situation, and improvement in macro-economic outlook of the country.
The businessmen individually shared their views regarding the economic challenges ahead.
They apprised the prime minister of issues faced by them regarding increase in imports, cost of doing business, trade and tariff, and taxation.
They shared their findings after the formation of a committee during interaction with former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. They lauded the economic reforms under the leadership of former prime minister and putting the country on road to peace and progress during the last four years.—APP