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PTI govt’s economic team not to be replaced

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Economic situation to be cleared

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Affairs Naeem ul Haq Thursday said the economic team of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf’s government including Finance Minister Asad Umar would not be replaced.
Those working with an economic team of PTI would work in the same position, he stated while talking to a private news channel.
To a question about the resignation of Azam Swati, he said the prime minister had accepted Swati’s resignation, keeping in view, the court case against him.
The government would implement the court orders whether it comes in favor or against him, he said.  He said the resignation of Azam Swati was an example of PTI’s ‘Naya Pakistan,’ where no one could hold the public office while facing cases in courts.
Replying to a question, he said if Azam Swati got cleared from the court then he would be included in the cabinet again.

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Health

Quality healthcare services

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RAWALPINDI: Federal Minister for National Health Services, Regulation, and Coordination Amir Mehmood Kiani today said the PTI government under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan was taking revolutionary steps for the promotion of health sector.
He expressed these views during a visit to Rawalpindi Cantonment General Hospital here today. The minister said the government was going to start a health insurance programme in the country and it would distribute 25 million Health Insurance Cards (HIC) to the poor and needy people by the beginning of next month.
He said the healthcare system of Pakistan was beset with numerous problems mainly because of the apathy of the
past governments toward the health sector, which was evident from the fact that the previous governments had failed to develop a “National Health Policy” due to which the country miserably failed to meet the health-related targets.
Criticizing the opposition, he said it was not a real opposition and that most political leaders had united to save their financial interests.  He said people would see improvement in all sectors and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government would put the country on the path of development and prosperity.  He said the PTI government brought a considerable change in the health sector adding that four new hospitals were being built in Islamabad to lessen the load on available hospitals.

 

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Economy

‘Digitization provides ecosystem for fin. inclusion’

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LAHORE: Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Tariq Bajwa has said that digitization provides an ecosystem for financial inclusion which plays a vital role in economic growth.
Talking to media at a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) signing ceremony among Punjab Government, SBP and One-Link here at Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) office, he appreciated the PRA for the initiative which would empower the commoner and taxpayers.
He also pointed out three priority areas of the economy including agriculture, provision of low-cost housing and SME, besides two cross-cutting areas Islamic Banking and financial inclusion through digitization of payment system.
To a question about declining revenue of provincial revenue authorities, Tariq Bajwa said Supreme Court of Pakistan barred the government from collecting taxes from mobile users which affected it.
He pointed out that it would be resolved soon with some alternate solution.
On this occasion, Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht said since coming to power, Punjab government had been striving to improve the business environment and provide maximum facilitation to the business sector which was the backbone of the economy. With the introduction of this facility, taxpayers would no longer need to visit banks and stand in queues to deposit their taxes, thus the compliance cost of the taxpayers would be reduced, he added.
The finance minister said the government intended to make the facility available for all provincial taxes. However, the Punjab Revenue Authority had taken the lead in this regard and payment of Sales Tax on Services through alternate delivery channels would be available by the end of December. Subsequently, the facility would be incrementally expanded to cover taxes collected by the Excise and Taxation Department and the Board of Revenue.
He appreciated the PRA for implementing the Punjab government’s vision by making of e-PRA and smart revenue organizations reliant on information technology, where the direct contact between taxpayer and tax collector was minimized. Future projects in the pipeline included pre-populated returns and algorithmic mass audits, he mentioned.
Punjab Chief Secretary Yousef Naseem Khokhar stressed the need for ease of doing business and committed that the provincial government would continue to work towards this direction.

 

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Business

Govt to promote Pak. furniture sector

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LAHORE: Prime Minister’s Advisor on Commerce, Textile and Industrial Production and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood said here today the government would provide all possible support and resources for the promotion of Pakistan’s furniture sector.

Advisor pointed towards formulating a comprehensive strategy in coordination with stakeholders to also ensure its exports. He expressed these views while talking to media during his visit to the 10th Interiors Pakistan Exhibition organized by Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) here at the Expo Centre. PFC Chief Executive Officer Mian Kashif Ashfaq and Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Almas Hyder were also present.
Abdul Razak added the government was taking all possible measures to promote ‘Made in Pakistan’ products at local and international markets and special incentive packages would be given to strengthening manufacturing in furniture sector to boost the exports.
He also appreciated PFC for holding successful exhibition without having the support of the government, citing, “PFC deserves appreciation for promoting the culture of local brands to strengthen the national economy.”
To a question, the Advisor said that the country’s economy would improve in the months to come as Pakistani products were being exported mainly due to timely policies of the present government. He said that with this exhibition, people would also come to know about the quality and designs of the products manufactured by Pakistani artists.
He said that Pakistan’s furniture sector had progressed to a certain level however there was a lot of efforts yet to be done as the sector had great potential.
Abdul Razak Dawood said that workers of this industry have great skills and potential and if used properly, Pakistan could become the best exporter of furniture. He said that with the development of the furniture industry, it would be easy to meet local and international needs.
To another question, he said the government was all committed for jobs creation for the youth and it could not be done overnight, as it would take time, and with the increased exports and vibrant export-oriented industry would help create job opportunities. He said the government was also discussing ways and means to overcome the balance of payment issue and remove all economic ills.
Earlier, the Advisor to the Prime Minister visited various stalls of the exhibition. He praised the workmanship, quality, and design of the various items put on display.
On this occasion, PFC Chief Mian Kashif Ashfaq expressed his gratitude for visiting exhibition as chief guest at the concluding ceremony. He also assured the advisor that the business community of the country would provide its full support to the government towards implementing its reforms agenda and overcoming the current economic challenges.
He said that PFC was playing its due role efficiently for promoting furniture brands not only in the country but also abroad by displaying world-class innovative designs suit to the aesthetic sense of buyers. He said Pakistan has good potential to enhance furniture exports to the USA and Europe by developing good brands and business community should focus on the branding of products to promote business activities and improve exports.
Mian Kashif said, “We need policies to protect the furniture sector so that we can grow in the correct manner. We currently cannot compete with the Chinese market because of their prices which is largely due to the availability of skilled labor. ” China, for instance, has over a thousand technical schools, and enroll at least 11 million people with the support of their government to ensure they set up programs that will support the local industry,” he added.
He stressed the need for the government and the Pakistani people to increase their patronage of furniture products made by local industry. The PFC chief said furniture made in Chiniot meets more than 80 percent of the local demand. This, combined with the handicraft industry, is employing around 50,000 people, he said and added that if the local industry expands new opportunities of employment will generate.
At the closing ceremony, Abdul Razak Dawood presented certificates of participation to the stall holders, while PFC Chief Mian Kashif presented the Advisor with a shield.

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