Overseas Pakistanis fully believed in the leadership of PM Imran Khan, says Farrukh Habib

Foreign remittance may touch 28b dollars by FY21 end: Farrukh

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ISLAMABAD- Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting (MoIB) Farrukh Habib on Monday hoped that the foreign remittances would touch 28 billion dollars mark by the end of current fiscal year (20-2021).

Addressing a news conference after attending a ‘Meet the Press’ gathering at National Press Club, he said the overseas Pakistanis fully believed in the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, adding “This is the reason that the money is being remitted [by the expats] through banking channels today and during the ten months [of current fiscal year], an amount of 24 billion dollars have already been received.”

“Two months [of the ongoing financial year] still remains and if this [trend] goes with the same pace, then it is being estimated that the foreign remittances may touch 28 billion dollars,” the minister maintained.

He said the same overseas Pakistanis were reluctant to send their remittances to the country through legal channels as they did not believe in the previous governments.

“They did not send money to the country [at the time of previous governments] because they knew that their money would be laundered abroad where their [the then leadership’s] children were doing businesses.”

Coming back to the present government’s economic achievements, he said the country’s exports surged by 13.5 per cent, while the large-scale manufacturing grew by nine percent. Likewise, the foreign exchange reserves had reached at $23 billion.

Unlike the previous regime, he said the present government had reinvigorated the textile sector by giving an amount of 40 billion rupee in subsidy to the businessmen associated with the sector in Punjab. “There is a shortage of labourers in Faisalabad where the mills owners are forced to increase their salaries so that their work goes uninterrupted.”

He hoped that the exports would reach 26 billion dollars by the end of this fiscal year as it was expected that export of the textile items would alone contribute between 15 to 16 billion dollars.

He said Rs 1,100 billion subsidy to the farmers, coupled with increase in minimum support price had resulted into bumper crops of rice, wheat and sugarcane. Prime Minister Imran Khan was very keen to revitalize the agriculture sector, taking multiple initiatives for uplift of small farmers, he added.

Farrukh said the government had been giving special attention to the food security as PM Imran Khan was very concerned in that regard. He was conducting regular meetings on the issue and issuing instructions to the concerned departments and officials, the minister added.

He said the government was formulating a National Agriculture plan which would also focus on livestock sector which had an immense potential in exports. He regretted that there was no investment made in agriculture sector during the last three years.

The minister also mentioned ‘Kamyab Kissan’ project under which the farmers were being provided tractors on easy installments and that too without any financial guarantee.

All the sectors including textile, production and agriculture were on upward trajectory that resulted into the betterment of middle class and lower middle class, he said while citing the jump in motorbikes sale that according to him mostly purchased by such strata.

Highlighting pro-poor initiative of his government including Ehsaas, he said Prime Minister Imran Khan always cared about poor and destitute, adding it was the only political leader in the country who took stance against the complete lockdown and introduced the concept of smart lockdown.

He said unlike Benazir Income Support Programme, Ehsaas initiative had multiple projects that were not only meant to alleviate poverty but also to ensure social protection and financial inclusion of the poor segments of the society.

He said under Ehsaas initiative , Rs 50,000 annual scholarship were being given to those students whose parents earned around Rs 45,000 per month and unable to bear expense of their children’s higher education.

He said there were seven million beneficiaries of the Ehsaas initiative, while 80,000 micro-loans were given to the poor under Akhuwat programme.

The minister also lashed out at the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz for placing ‘economic land mines’ in the country by the end of its tenure. It was Prime Minister Imran Khan who put the fragile economy on right track despite of several challenges on the internal and foreign fronts such as Coronavirus pandemic, Locust attack and Pak- India tensions.

He categorically rejected the claim of PML-N that the government had released ‘wrong’ data on economic growth.

Farrukh dared the opposition parties to prove the figures wrong, saying the data was accurate and correct.

On the occasion, he also urged the opposition parties to help the government enact ‘Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Bill 2021’.

He termed it a ‘comprehensive’ legislation, covering all the professional aspects of journalists’ life including health, insurance, training and others.

He vowed to reach out all the journalistic community of Pakistan to bridge the communication gap between the media and government.

He said he would visits all the press clubs of Pakistan to ascertain real time issues of the journalists community through extensive interaction.

Farrukh said those journalists who did not get house under any shceme would be included in the Prime Minister’s low-cost housing projects after taking all the journalistic bodies on the board.

The process would start from Islamabad and Rawalpindi and soon would be replicated in other major cities, he added.

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