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Ppl manufactured in nursery of military dictatorship are calling me selected: Imran Khan

30 June, 2019

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday took the opposition to task for using the word ‘selected’ for him, adding that the people manufactured in the nursery of military dictatorship are calling him ‘selected’ now.

Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly, the prime minister referred to Murad Saeed’s speech citing former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice’s book in which she had revealed the American role to get the NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) signed between Musharraf and Zardari to protect the United States interests. “How they (Zardari) and those who had been nurtured in the military dictator’s nursery (PML-N), could use such words,” he questioned.

Referring to the money laundering cases involving former president Asif Ali Zardari and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family, Imran Khan said when the ruling class is involved in money laundering, how the common people can be stopped from doing so. Criticizing Shehbaz Sharif’s speech in the parliament, the prime minister said how a person facing serious charges of money laundering can address the parliament and chair the Public Accounts Committee mandated for the government’s accountability.

The prime minister announced that the government will soon launch a full-fledged crackdown against the money laundering by plugging the loopholes in the system left by the previous governments. “Today, money laundering is the biggest curse in the country. Because you cannot keep it (money) in Pakistan, so you launder it abroad to conceal it. You inflict double loss to country – first by looting and then by sending it through Havala or Hundi in dollars,” he said, adding that the money laundering is the real reason behind the dollar appreciation.

“Amazingly, those who left behind a record deficit of $19.5 billion are blaming the incumbent government for rupee devaluation. Such a people should have also told the people the real reason behind it,” the prime minister said, adding that according to the data collected by the government, even the resident Pakistanis have stashed around $10 billion abroad.

The prime minister said his government inherited economic challenges and a fiscal deficit worth $19 billion. “The opposition is misleading public on the devaluation of the rupee. Shehbaz Sharif delivered a charged address in which he blamed us for the rupee devaluation and economic situation. He did not say why we are here: this government had the largest fiscal deficit. Imports were high, exports very low,” he said. “This [Shehbaz Sharif] opposition leader’s family was responsible for this mess – how can they accuse us? In western democracies, the parliament protects public interest. Here, people who faced massive corruption charges are in the parliament lecturing us,” he added.

The prime minister congratulated his economic team for getting the annual budget sail through the National Assembly and the parliamentary party for debating the Finance Bill through quality speeches, particularly by Minister for Communications Murad Saeed, and Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Hammad Azhar. He said Azhar has emerged as a young leader and has earned the federal ministry due to his composure and hard work. He also thanked National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar, PTI’s Chief Whip Amir Dogar and the allied parties for their support to get the budget passed, putting the opposition’s threats and rumours at rest.

The prime minister said the biggest challenge is to balance the current account deficit, though the government has already managed to bring it down by 30 per cent. He said under the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme, the government will be starting different new schemes by next week to support another 40 industries allied with the construction industry. He said the government has enhanced allocation for its anti-poverty initiative ‘Ehsas’ to Rs 190 billion, besides allocating another Rs 100 billion for youth loans.

He also revealed that Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has requested the federal government that funds saved from the military’s voluntary cuts in the defence budget be spent on Balochistan province and the tribal districts of the erstwhile FATA region. Mentioning the reduction of PM House’s expenditures by 30 per cent and ministers’ salaries by 10 per cent, he said the government will make cost cutting in other departments too. He said though after the new National Finance Commission Award, the development of Karachi is the provincial responsibility, the federal government has allocated Rs 45 billion for the port city’s uplift. He, however, said the development of the cities cannot be achieved until an effective local government system is enforced as had been introduced by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) governments in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to allow the cities collect their own taxes.

The prime minister said under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the government will bring Chinese agriculture technology to Pakistan to enhance the yield and to boost the dairy sector. Reiterating his government’s resolve to support the industrialisation, he said after 1960s, it will be the first government to prove itself as the most-business friendly government.

The prime minister said discouraging the trend of lop-sided development, the government has made special budgetary allocations to uplift the neglected areas like Balochistan and erstwhile FATA. He also thanked Pakistan Army for deciding to freeze their budget to help uplift Balochistan and tribal areas

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