PM reviews progress of under-construction flats Naya Pakistan Housing Program

Govt taking unprecedented steps to facilitate Pakistani expatriates: PM

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday paid a surprise visit to the under-construction apartments of the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme in the capital’s G-13 sector. The prime minister reviewed the progress of the ongoing project and directed its early completion. The Naya Pakistan housing program is aimed at providing affordable residence to people. Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday directed the State Bank of Pakistan to provide an online facility of real-time money transfer through the Roshan Digital Account for overseas Pakistanis.

The prime minister, chairing a meeting on Roshan Digital Account (RDA), said the overseas Pakistanis were a precious asset of Pakistan and the government was taking historic measures for their facilitation. He said the steps like the voting rights, automation of the power of attorney, and online issuance of the succession certificate would have a long-lasting impact on the welfare of the expatriates. During the meeting, the prime minister was apprised of the money transfer facility for the overseas Pakistanis through the RDA. It was told that so far remittances worth $3 billion had been received through the RDA. The prime minister instructed the authorities concerned to launch a marketing campaign to convince the expatriates for maximum use of the facility. Meanwhile to another commitment, As the cases of Omicron declined in Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said that the government ensured protection of economically weaker segments through its policy of smart lockdown instead of going for complete shutdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides the worldwide appreciation of the government’s policies of tackling the Coronavirus, people also extended full support to the implementation of COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), he added. The Prime Minister was presiding over a high-level meeting to review measures to check Coronavirus in the country. Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Special Assistants to PM Dr. Faisal Sultan, Dr. Shehbaz Gill, National Coordinator National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) Maj. Gen. Zafar Iqbal, Director General Operations NCOC Maj. Gen. Asif Goraya and senior officials concerned were in attendance. The Prime Minister said that when people from across the world were protesting against lockdown, masses in Pakistan not only followed the SOPs and fully supported the government’s smart lockdown measures but also cooperated in getting them vaccinated. It was due to the government’s relief and measures that industrial and other economic activities had a minimum impact on COVID-19, he pointed out.

The Prime Minister appreciated the sacrifices and services of the frontline health workers, adding, the Pakistani nation will never forget the sacrifices of doctors and frontline health workers. The meeting was briefed in detail about the wave of Omicron in the country as well as its spread in the region and world. It was told that after the wave of Omicron touched peak worldwide in January, it has started to decline, but the number of cases in Europe and America was still high. India was at the top in terms of deaths due to Coronavirus in the region, where around 1000 people were dying on daily basis. The meeting was told that due to the government’s measures to ensure strict implementation of COVID SOPs, the cases of Omicron in Pakistan were declining. Besides, it was further told that with a 6.8% decline in COVID positive cases after February 10, the admission of Omicron patients in the hospital’s Intensive Care Units (ICUs) had also registered a 71% decrease as compared to the 4th wave. No increase in hospital admissions and the need for ICUs was also a positive trend, it was told. The meeting was told that due to the new wave of Coronavirus, 42 people were dying in Pakistan per day on an average basis. Likewise, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday asked the ministries to keep the national interest foremost and work on ‘out of the box solutions to deliver the most. In his address at the certificate award ceremony for the top 10 best performing ministries and divisions, he said the resolution of public issues through effective policy-making and good governance was important. The prime minister awarded certificates to the heads of the top 10 ministries and divisions on a good performance and targets achieved. In order of their performance, these include the Ministry of Communications, Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division, Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, Ministry of Human Rights, Ministry of Industries and Production, National Security Division, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Interior, and Ministry of National Food Security and Research. In line with PM Imran Khan’s vision of good governance, the performance agreements were earlier signed between the Prime Minister’s Office and the federal ministries and divisions to achieve their respective targets. The prime minister said no system could effectively function without the concept of reward and punishment. “This is a great opportunity to encourage ministries to improve their performance for the benefit of people,” he said. He suggested that to assess the qualitative performance, weightage should be given to the ministries that are kept ahead of the country’s national interest. He said increasing exports, finding import substitution, and poverty alleviation were significant areas of national interest. He mentioned that reforms had been made regarding the powers of the National Accountability Bureau that allowed the bureaucrats to take initiatives. Imran Khan said a quarterly review of the performance of ministries was a step to develop among them a sense of competition to give their best. He congratulated Communication Minister Murad Saeed for achieving the top position and said that the youngest cabinet member had delivered well regarding his ministry. He said the government’s agenda was transformed into an actionable form through the performance agreement system. He said 1,090 targets had been set by the ministries of which 424 would be completed this year, including 207 related to governance and 100 to infrastructure.

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