President Alvi lauds govt’s economic, foreign policies in joint parliament session

President Alvi lauds govt’s economic, foreign policies in joint parliament session

Islamabad (Web Desk): President Arif Alvi on Monday said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has secured achievements on various fronts specially economy, social and human development and foreign policy to take the country towards a prosperous and shining future.

Addressing the joint sitting of the Parliament at the Parliament House in Islamabad at the advent of 4th Parliamentary Year, he said that despite the negative impact of COVID-19, the country’s economy has been put on positive trajectory.

The president expressed satisfaction that the economic growth remained 3.94 percent during the last financial year.

“The exports touched the figure of 25.3 billion dollars and remittances 19.4 billion dollars during the last financial year,” President Alvi said, adding that the remittances witnessed increase of 10% during the first two months of current fiscal year.

“Pakistan Stock Exchange has beaten all previous records and emerged as the world’s fourth best performing markets. He said that according to a survey of overseas investors, chamber of commerce and industry, the Business Confidence Index of Pakistan improved by massive 60%,” the president noted.

He said that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) collection reached 4,732 billion rupees during the last fiscal year and during the first two months of current financial year additional 160 billion rupees were collected.

Dr Arif Alvi said that this enhancement in remittances and revenue collection show the confidence of the masses on the policies of the government.

President Alvi was also appreciative for the steps taken by the government to meet the action plan of Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The president said that the government also gave a comprehensive package to the construction industry in order to uplift the weak segments of the society.

He mentioned that people are being providing easy loans to build their own Houses. He said these achievements on the economic front are a reality which the opposition will have to accept.

Dr Arif Alvi said that agriculture sector witnessed a growth of 2.7 percent while exports in the IT sector touch the mark of $2.12 billion.

“Various programmes have been launched to provide skill training to youth,” the president said, adding 1.7 million youth has so far been provided vocational training in this regard.

President Avi said that the government has been implementing a number of social security initiatives under Ehsaas programme for social economic development of people.

He said Rs208 billion have been allocated for this programme that will benefit about thirty percent of the population. He said Ehsaas Nashonuma, Waseela Taleem, Ehsaas Kafalat, Ehsaas Scholarship, Emergency Cash, Langarkhana and Koi Bhooka Na Soye programmes would significantly contribute to social economic development across the country.

The President said the youth are being provided easy loans for starting their own business. He said that Rs100 billion have been earmarked for this programme and fifteen billion rupees have so far been distributed among the eligible candidates.

“Pakistan is heading towards Universal Health coverage under the government’s Sehat Sahulat Programme,” he said, adding that 18 million families are currently benefiting from this programme and hopefully the health card scheme will soon reach every corner of the country.

He underlined the need for giving special importance to telemedicine as it would decrease burden on hospitals.

The president also emphasised on family planning and breast feeding so that health of child and mother can be protective. He said also urged media and Ulema to play their role in creating awareness in this regard.  He also called upon the government to increase funding for this purpose.

Talking about the education sector, President Arif Alvi said that the government has introduced a single national curriculum and announced massive scholarship for students to promote education in the country.

He said the uniform syllabus is a step towards building a united nation. He said differently able people have been exempted from tuition and hostel fee by the Higher Education Commission (HEC), enabling them to become a vibrant and productive segment of the society. He said the government has paid special focus on safeguarding the rights of differently able people and women.

Regarding protections of women rights, the president said the government has not only made effective legislation but also took administrative measures to prevent incidents of sexual harassment against women and children.  He appreciated the government for undertaking legislation to protect women’s hereditary rights.

On climate change, Dr Arif Alvi said the government launched ten million trees Tsunami and Clean Green Pakistan to mitigate negative impacts of environmental degradation.

Stressing the need for electoral reforms for promotion of democracy in the country, the president said use of electronic voting machines will help bring transparency in electoral process.

“Since it is a matter of destiny of Pakistan, there should not be any politics on the issue of electoral reforms,” he said, adding that all the political parties should extend their full cooperation to give right of vote to overseas Pakistanis.

On the foreign policy front, President Arif Alvi regretted that India is committing genocide of innocent Kashmiri people over the last many decades.

He asked India to end its blatant human rights violations in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and fulfil the promise of granting right of self-determination to the Kashmiri people.

President Alvi said Pakistan stands by its principled position on Kashmir dispute. He thanked the friendly countries such as China, Turkey, Iran and Azerbaijan for supporting Pakistan's stance on the lingering dispute.

The president said the Prime Minister Imran Khan has effectively exposed the true face of India before the world.  He said India is abetting terrorism in Pakistan.

“The theft of uranium and its buying and selling in the open market in India is a dangerous event, the president said, regretting that the silence of international media on Indian administration's incompetence.

President Alvi said it has always been the endeavour of Pakistan to maintain cordial relations with its neighbours.

He, however, lamented that India never reciprocated to Pakistan's positive gesture. He said Pakistan gave a befitting response to the Indian aggression in February 2019. We shot down their aircraft and released their pilot as a goodwill gesture.

Speaking about Afghanistan, President Alvi said that Pakistan has played an important role for peace in Afghanistan and want this new government to unite the Afghan people.

“Afghan government should ensure the Afghan land poses no threat to any neighbouring country,” he said, adding that the statements of Afghan government in this regard are encouraging.

President Alvi urged the international community to provide assistance to the Afghans to avert humanitarian crises there.

“Peace in Afghanistan will indeed be very beneficial for the region,” President Alvi said, adding that some forces especially India wants to sabotage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

He made it clear that India failed in its attempt in the past and will not succeed in its plots in future as well. He said that Pakistan China friendship is destined to rise.

“Pakistan gives immense importance to its relation with China and wants to further strengthen them,” the president said China has paid a pivotal role in the socio-economic development of Pakistan.

Highlighting Pakistan's biggest strengths such as having combated terrorism, charitable nature of the people, and success in dealing with the coronavirus, Alvi urged the nation not to consider itself "weak".

The president listed three things that Pakistan needed to take care of: fake news, backbiting and strong upbringing, including training at home, at school through a uniform educational curriculum, through media, and from the pulpit.