ISLAMABAD: Expressing satisfaction over the state of improvement and stability in the Pakistan’s economy, Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday stressed that the fruits of economic recovery should reach the common man as soon as possible.

To this effect, Imran Khan chaired a meeting on the national economy. Federal Ministers Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Khusro Bakhtiar, Hammad Azhar, Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Dr Ishrat Hussain and Special Assistant Dr Waqar Masood attended the meeting. The meeting discussed the state of the country’s economy.

Prime Minister Imran Khan appreciated the efforts of the economic team in terms of economic discipline and better management of the country’s debt. The prime minister termed the positive developments in the large-scale manufacturing sector as welcome development for the economy.

The meeting discussed in detail the possible impact on the economy in the context of the second wave of corona and the sponsorship programme to provide protection to the poor.

The prime minister said that the strategy adopted by the government against corona was not only appreciated globally but also Pakistan’s economy was emerging the fastest in the region thanks to the integrated strategy of the economic team.

Meanwhile, Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan met Imran Khan here. He briefed the prime minister on issues related to industrial package, energy and petroleum. He said that the government’s decision to supply electricity to the industrial sector at discounted rates has yielded positive results. Expressing satisfaction over the government’s decision on electricity tariffs by the business community, the prime minister said that providing all possible facilities to the industry for stabilising the country’s economy was one of the top priorities of the government.

Meanwhile, Imran Khan said that Pakistan’s coastline was not only conducive for and world class urban construction, but also had the potential to create innumerable opportunities for foreign investment.

Ravi City project

He added that the Ravi City project would reduce the population pressure on a big city like Lahore as well as introduce new dimensions of urban planning in Pakistan. The prime minister said that these major projects would have a positive impact on the national economy and the lives of the common man. He said that these projects would lead to the development of local industries as well as create new employment opportunities.

He observed this wile presiding over a meeting of working groups of Pakistan Island Development Authority and Ravi Urban Development Authority. Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and Punjab Chief Secretary Jawad Rafique Malik attended the meeting via video link.

The prime minister was apprised of the progress made so far on both the projects. The prime minister was informed that for the first time in the history of the country, the Ravi City and the cities to be built on the islands would be built in accordance with the principles of Green City.

Chairman Ravi Development Authority said that the survey of 18,600 acres of land for construction has been completed in which there is no need to evict or relocate the local population. He added that the Ravi City project would set an example in the region in terms of international standard housing as well as drainage, availability and protection of groundwater resources and environmental protection.

It should be noted that these projects are being developed on the basis of partnership; instead of loans in which international institutions; and investors are showing interest in investing. The chairman of Pakistan Island Development Authority informed the prime minister; about the interest of a large number of international companies in the Master Development and Environmental Studies of the Island Development Authority.

Imran Khan was also informed Friday that after the commencement of construction work on 44 million square feet in Punjab; economic activities worth about Rs1 trillion would start in the province.

The prime minister was presiding over a weekly meeting of the National Coordinating Committee for Housing, Construction and Development. The SBP governor informed the meeting that the banks were ensuring the provision of facilities; for obtaining loans for construction of houses under the New Pakistan Housing Scheme. He said that for the convenience of the people; special desks would be set up in 50 percent branches of banks; in all the districts of the country to provide loans for construction.

Growth in Development

Punjab chief secretary informed the meeting that applications for construction work on 44 million; square feet have been received from all over the province; out of which approval has been given for construction on 20 million square feet. He added that consumption in all construction industries including cement, bricks and masonry has increased.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief secretary informed the meeting that applications for new constructions; on about 6 million square feet have been received from all over the province. He added that after the approval, economic activities worth Rs100 billion would start in the province.

The prime minister said that the rapid pace of construction work would improve the country’s economy; and provide employment opportunities to the people. He directed the Punjab government to approve the applications; received for construction work as soon as possible in accordance with the prevailing laws.

The prime minister directed Pakistan Telecommunication and Nepra to work with the SBP to resolve issues; related to the construction sector as soon as possible.