—Prime Minister Imran Khan announces withdrawal of five per cent duty on newsprint, says his govt supports freedom of speech
—Says govt will continue accountability of the corrupt
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that Pakistan might not have to approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for loans as the government was in contact with ‘friendly countries’ for resolution of economic issues faced by the country.
Speaking with office bearers of Council of Newspapers Editors (CPNE), Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) and All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), the prime minister expressed confidence that the government will soon solve problems being faced by the country through its policies.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the economy was in dire straits and every sector the government had analysed was found in the doldrums. He, however, said that the government had already approached its close allies seeking their financial assistance with a positive response being given by them.
We will first see what the conditions imposed by the IMF are and then take a decision on the bailout, the premier said.
The prime minister blamed the previous governments for drowning the country in debt by resorting to luxury expenditures. “The loans taken had not even been utilised properly.”
He went on to say that after taking tough decisions in the first six months of his government’s tenure, the masses would be given relief which would usher in a new era in the country’s history.
“The first few months are hard. Our foreign reserves have depleted. But I assure you that after six months, all will be good,” the premier said.
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Advisor to Prime Minister on Media Affairs Iftikhar Durrani and Senator Faisal Javed Khan were also present during the meeting.
The visiting delegation apprised the prime minister about the issued faced by print and electronic media. The CPNE president acknowledged that the incumbent government had adopted a policy of non-interference in the media.
PM Khan said that the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) welcomes criticism, adding that a great part of his success was the result of support from media.
He said: “The government fully believes in freedom of expression and also welcomes constructive criticism, however, the media should demonstrate responsibility.” The prime minister assured that he stands for freedom of speech and there would be no stifling of media by his government.
During the meeting, the prime minister announced the withdrawal of five per cent duty on newsprint. The demand was put forward by CPNE earlier.
Moreover, PM Khan said that the government wants to lessen problems of the common man, adding that special emphasis was being given to education, health and social sectors.
He expressed concerns over recovery of billions of rupees from fake accounts, adding that the government had identified 128 accounts used in a white-collar crime.
The prime minister went on to say that the those who were opposing accountability of the corrupt are a mafia, adding that the accountability of those involved in corruption will continue.
Furthermore, PM Khan lamented that the attitude of the opposition at present was not democratic at all.