Fawad assures provision of modern healthcare facilities to journalists, their families
Loan worth Rs 23 trillion was taken from 2008 to 2018 when the PPP and PML-N were in power.
LAHORE: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain says the government will provide state-of-the-art healthcare facilities to the journalists and their families.
Talking to newsmen at Lahore Press Club on Sunday afternoon, he said that families of journalists and members of press clubs in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be given health facilities up-to one million rupees at both government and private hospitals.
Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said that journalists throughout Pakistan will be provided subsidized houses under the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme.
About country’s political situation, the information minister said PTI will continue to rule in the Center after winning next general elections.
Replying to another question, Chaudhary Fawad Husain said that government is spending 700 billion rupees on development of Southern Balochistan.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said on Sunday that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, now living in the most expensive property in London, was directly responsible for the current inflation in the country.
Talking to media here, the minister said that today, Pakistan took only Rs 6 trillion loan from 1947 to 2008 and strengthened armed forces, purchased Gwadar, built the capital city of Islamabad and the country became a nuclear power.
He said that loan worth Rs 23 trillion was taken from 2008 to 2018 when the PPP and PML-N were in power.
The minister said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has to repay $ 55 billion loan in its five years tenure due to bad economic policies of the past regimes.
So far, the PTI government had repaid $32 billion loan during past three years, he added and said that owing to the bad governance and plunder of the past rulers, the country was facing inflation today, how can we ignore them.
“Those who fled after looting and plundering the national exchequer are now giving lectures on economy today,” Chaudhry Fawad stated.
He said that the PPP had taken the right decision by stopping new gas schemes and at the end of its tenure in 2013, there was no revolving loan on gas.
He said when Shahid Khaqan Abbasi left in 2018, he left a circular debt of Rs 197 billion on gas as the schemes he started require Rs 90 billion annually for completion.
He said that some people had the perception that Imran Khan has lost popularity due to inflation but they were wrong as he has vote bank everywhere from Karachi to Khyber, Lahore to Peshawar, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.
He said that elections would be held on 1100 national and provincial assemblies constituencies and there was no other party besides PTI that could field its candidates on so many seats.
“PML-N is party of Punjab, PPP is of Sindh and JUI is of some areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” Chaudhry Fawad maintained. He said that when the elections time would come, the PTI leadership would show how elections were contested. The minister said that Imran Khan would form the government for next five years.
The government has borne the health expenses of all journalists, providing state-of-the-art healthcare facilities to journalists, said Chaudhry Fawad.
He said that the journalists and their families will be able to avail treatment facility up to Rs. 1 million per annum from any public or private hospital under the scheme which was launched by the Prime Minister.
He opined that the private sector involve the in the health and education sectors was imperative to resolve the problems.
The health card programme, he said will provide an opportunity for the private sector to invest in the health sector as the people wanted better treatment and health card will benefit middle and white collared class.
He lamented that instead of starting such welfare schemes in Sindh, the provincial government was spending money on construction of private buildings.
Fawad Hussain said that a doctor had been appointed in Karachi on a salary of Rs 7. 6 million which was regrettable as all hospitals and health system of Sindh had been ruined.
He said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had decided to provide equal health facilities to all segments of the society. “We are providing equal treatment facility without differentiating between rich and poor,” said the minister.
He said after Lahore, journalists from Islamabad and journalists affiliated with all press clubs would be provided health card facility.
The minister urged the Sindh government to join health card programme. Journalists have also been included in the Prime Minister’s Low Cost Housing Scheme, Chaudhry Fawad said adding that all journalists could fulfill their dream of home by getting loans under this scheme.
He said that loan would be given for five marla house out of which Rs 300,000 would be the subsidy by the government.
The minister said that to remain relevant print media will have to move towards digitization as in the future, digital media will replace formal media. He revealed that during the last three years, advertisements worth Rs 12 billion had shifted from formal media to digital media.
The minister said that 5G technology would bring a new revolution and the current media model should be ready for this change. He promised that like Karachi Press Club, Lahore Press Club will also be turned into a digital media lab as the government wanted to provide learning opportunities to journalists.
He said 100 big companies made a profit of Rs 929 billion on the stock exchange, whereas media houses made 35 to 40 percent profit.
He said that due to profit earning, the media owners and companies should increase the salaries of their workers. “Today our industries are fully functional, the farmer is prosperous as Rs 1100 billion has been transferred to agriculture sector and the economy is growing at a rate of 5 percent,” said Chaudhry Fawad Hussain.
He acknowledged that there were problems for the salaried class and the private sector should play its role to resolve these problems. “Prosperity of working journalists is necessary, we have to work for it,” he said.
He said that the media gave unnecessary hype to Pervez Khattak and Hamad Azhar’s talk during Parliamentary party meeting.
To a question, he said that the Chairman of ITNE would be appointed within a month which would give electronic media workers the right to go to court if their contract was not fulfilled.
He said that PML-N and PPP obstruct legislation for protection of journalists.
To a question, he said that advertisements of any media outlet could not be stopped.
He asked the media people to talk to PPP and PML-N for enactment of law and make sure adopt the law when comes.
The government would provide Rs .5 million loan to a journalist for digital journalism on the guarantee of the Press Club.
He said so far 5,669 people in Lahore division have benefited from health card facility. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he said has expanded its health programme, including kidney and liver transplants, and it would be further expanded.
He said that southern Balochistan has been given a package of Rs 700 billion. New mechanism has been created for Gwadar city and major problems of Gwadar will be solved in next six months, the minister added.