LAHORE: PTI Chairman Imran Khan while addressing a large public gathering at Minar-e-Pakistan, here in Lahore, announced his ten points as a comprehensive plan to revitalize the economy. Reviving the economy at this stage is a herculean task and the incompetent government is not able to tackle the situation.
Mr. Khan challenged his opponents that if they have any plan to revive the economy they should announce it publically. Only an elected leader having public support can make tough decisions. Economic stability is only possible in the presence of political stability. Mr. Khan said, six people lost their lives, standing in the queue for flour. The current economic situation is devastated and the incumbent government is just humiliating public by making them stand in queues. The PTI government gave relief-money to public respectfully, not like this. He also demanded explanation, how the prices of flour soared three times after he left the government. The prices of petrol are falling in international market, whereas, in Pakistan it is being sold for a lot more than what it costs. We were selling petrol cheaper than the cost even when the rates in international market were high. What has happened now?, all records of inflation has been broken.
Explaining his plan, he said, we have to reduce our spending, Pakistan is being run on loans and the laundering of dollar is exacerbating the crisis. We need to vamp up our exports and reduce imports. The country has to increase tax collection and only an elected leader having public mandate can encourage tax submission.
Mr. Khan reiterated, we have to encourage overseas Pakistanis to send back remittances. There are around 18000 Pakistan’s expatriate doctors in USA, having worth of $ 200bn. The 10 top Pakistani American businessmen have worth of $25bn and we are begging for just $ 6bn. Pakistan’s expatriates are buying a lot of land in UAE according to Bloomberg, we just have to convince them to invest back in Pakistan, if they start investing in Pakistan’s industry it will attract funding from the whole world.
We are also planning to extenuate the dilapidated tourism industry and focusing on extracting the natural resources and minerals. Currently, these subject are less focused because they are provincial domain, but we have a comprehensive plan for this. Pakistan also needs to increase her agricultural productivity and we would strive to attain these goals.
The main issue with Pakistan’s economy is that only a few of businessmen pay taxes and in our tenure we made a plan to increase the tax base in collaboration with NADRA. We collected record tax in back in our tenure. Money laundering is eating the economy from inside and we have to stop it.
Mr. Khan added, we are experiencing turbulent times in which the poor is being crushed. Our health insurance has been halted, but we will restore it, because, in this sky high inflation, even a single disease can indebt the whole family, our government will support the poor. He claimed to provide utilities to the poor directly.
We planned for cheap housing scheme, which will also be restored, because the employed class face a lot of hardships to make their own homes, we will provide modern facilities for slums in collaboration with investors to make buildings for the slum residents.
There should be dedicated areas for stalls, said Mr. Khan, all around the world, this technique is implemented to generate revenue, so why we cannot?.
The domestic labour should be treated humanely, unfortunately, we don’t treat them justly which is against our religion. There should be formal contracts for their employment, we will try to provide them rights. The countries we term as infidels are a lot better than us in terms of humanity.
He shared his concern that the country is following a downward trend, there will be a time when we would not be able to handle the situation. Our resources are depleting, the only thing which can assuage the public is free and fair election. He reiterated his stance, that if the government has a road map to stabilize the country they should announce it and the nation will see who they really want as their prime minister.
Can the government stabilize the country by arresting me? They are only brewing the seeds of hate people’s heart. For the first time I experienced what happens in Kashmir and Palestine. You cannot deal humans with sticks, no one can be corrected forcefully, instead man is a rational being and ought to be convinced.
Today, on March 25, a few years back in 1992, Pakistan won the world cup, said the PTI chairman, the whole team was suspicious of success, but I was the only person standing till the last ball. Even now, I will fight till the end. We cannot be victorious by the way country is being treated. Many countries like Germany and Japan, who were reduced to rubbles after WW2, rose once again at the world stage. We have to follow the precedent as well.
Inflation in India is currently on a downward trend, whereas, in Pakistan it is sky high. Even our own Defence Minister says that we have already defaulted and Ishaq Dar said in Parliament, that IMF is raising concern on our long range missile program (IMF rejected the claim). The might Soviet broke down into pieces due to an economic crisis, if we do not stabilise the country now, it might get too late.
He said, today the prime minister is begging around all over the world, we do not deserve this, but this incompetent government has brought the Pakistan down to her knees. They are trying to impose forced level playing field, this trend will destroy the democratic fabric of Pakistan.