Govt takes steps for revival of economy

F.P. Report
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said on Wednesday that under the vision of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the present government had taken immediate and concrete steps for revival of the country’s economy.
During a meeting with Australian Ambassador to Pakistan, Neil Hawkins who called on her here, she said Pakistan valued relations with Australia. Bilateral relations, economic stability, cooperation in the fields of film, art and culture were also discussed during the meeting. The ambassador appreciated the current government’s efforts for stabilizing the country’s economy and the International Monetary Fund agreement.
“Thanks to government initiatives, positive results have started coming on the economic front,” the minister maintained. She also briefed the ambassador about the establishment of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC). Marriyum said this council would ensure the forecasting, continuity and effective implementation of the policy for economic recovery. The SIFC would function as the apex decision-making forum, she added.
Stating that the present government fully believed in freedom of expression, she said the government introduced the Freedom of Expression Bill in Parliament in first week after coming to power. The minister said that the Journalists and Media Professionals Protection (Amendment) Bill was in the process of approval.
An ample amount of money had been allocated for the health insurance of journalists and artists in this year’s budget, she informed the ambassador. The minister said that PEMRA law was being amended in Pakistan and for the first time journalistic organizations had also been represented in PEMRA authority. For the first time, she said, budgetary allocation had been made for the film industry in the ongoing fiscal year.
The minister said the government wanted to show Pakistani culture, civilization and heritage to the whole world through screen tourism. She also informed the Australian Ambassador about the National Amateur Film Festival aimed to highlight the creativity of Pakistani youth. She said that 25 high achievers had recently left for Australia for National Amateur Film Festival Awards.
The government had not only established a film finance fund at a cost of Rs 2 billion, but also given many concessions to the film sector, she added. ” The government will provide funds for producing films, documentaries and dramas under the new film policy”, she said. Marriyum said that foreign filmmakers should benefit from special concessions in the field of photography and filmmaking in Pakistan.
The minister appreciated Australian media for reporting situation in Pakistan in an objective and impartial manner. The ambassador said that an Australian company was working in Balochistan on the Reko Diq project which would undoubtedly open the door for development of Pakistan. He also appreciated Marriyum Aurangzeb’s efforts for promoting film and culture and freedom of expression in the country.