ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday that reducing poverty and raising the standard of living of the poor would be a real success for his government.
“Our fight for poverty reduction will be 25 years old and if we succeed, it will be the real success of my five-year government,” he said, noting that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) would be celebrating the fourth century of its existence next Sunday.
Speaking at a MoU signing ceremony between four private banks and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs with the aim of providing soft loans to poor fishermen, he said that, according to a 2013 report by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) ), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the province where poverty is greatest in the country, but his government managed to lift a large number of people out of poverty and (as a result) in the last elections the PTI won with a two-thirds majority in the KP.
“When I go to the masses after a five-year term in my government, my success will be in how many people have been lifted out of poverty, not how many have become richer,” he said.
Memorandum of Understanding signed with four banks to grant soft loans to fishermen
The Prime Minister proudly mentioned the recently published UNDP report, which reflected the reduced level of poverty in KP during the period 2013 to 2018.
He said that, according to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), four private banks would provide easy loans to fishermen to allow them to buy state-of-the-art equipment, such as boats and freezers, to add value to their businesses, in addition to achieving self-reliance.
He said it was the first time in Sindh that people living in slums and slums will have their own homes. “Unfortunately, 40 percent of the city of Karachi comprises Katchi Abadis. We are making plans to give the residents of these settlements their own homes, ”he added.
Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi, Minister for Information and Transmission Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, PM Usman Dar’s Special Assistant and senior officials from four banks attended the event.
Representatives of the National Bank of Pakistan, Bank of Punjab, Bank Alfalah and Bank Habib and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs signed the documents to grant loans to fishermen under the Kamyab Jawan Program.
The Prime Minister praised the initiative that aims to raise fishermen who, according to him, tend to lead difficult lives.
He said that the MoU was signed due to the struggle of the PTI, which would turn 25 next Sunday.
Prime Minister Khan has vowed to clean the Karachi Sea of pollution and said plans have been drawn up to install water filtration plants in the city. “Unfortunately our sea water was very polluted due to the dumping of solid waste into the sea, but my government has promised to clean up our sea,” he added.
The prime minister said his plan to develop two new cities – Ravi Urban City in Lahore and Bundle Island in the coastal area of Karachi – would bring about a revolution and help solve many problems in addition to generating money.
Meeting with flour mill owners
Later, during a meeting with representatives of flour mill associations from Punjab, Sindh and KP, the prime minister said that the supply of wheat flour and its regular supply was one of the government’s top priorities.
The delegation of the flour mill association discussed options on how to improve and facilitate the interprovincial wheat and wheat flour movement.
The prime minister was informed that the country expected an abundant crop of wheat this season, which would help stabilize flour prices in the country.
A delegation of 11 members of prominent Buddhist monks from Sri Lanka, who are visiting Pakistan at the invitation of the government, visited the prime minister. Mr. Khan welcomed the delegation and stressed the importance of increasing personal contacts between Pakistan and Sri Lanka and strengthening interfaith harmony.
Highlighting Pakistan’s glorious Gandhara heritage, Khan said the country was the proud guardian of some of the world’s most sacred Buddhist sites and offered a great religious tourism opportunity for tourists from around the world, especially from Sri Lanka. “Pakistan is a land of natural beauty and unparalleled historical and cultural sites,” he added.
The prime minister told the delegation that his government was working on the creation of a Sacred Buddhist Trail, which would include the most revered Buddhist heritage sites in Pakistan. “Our plan is to build state-of-the-art logistical facilities along the trail to facilitate Buddhist pilgrims from different parts of the world,” he said.
Appreciating the government’s initiative to develop the Sacred Buddhist Trail and the renovation work being done at various archaeological and religious sites, the monks said Pakistan is ready for large-scale tourism and religious pilgrimage from around the world.
The delegation recalled and appreciated Pakistan’s longstanding friendly relationship, cooperation and solidarity with Sri Lanka. Delegation members thanked the Pakistani government for organizing the trip.
The prime minister wished the delegation a pleasant stay in Pakistan and asked them to share their experiences with others about Pakistan’s unique hospitality, natural beauty and Buddhist heritage, motivating others to make trips to Pakistan.