In a somewhat surprising U-turn, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday asked the people not to look towards the government for jobs as the provision of work was not in its capacity.
“Instead, I want to tell you that the government is going to disband 400 departments,” he added.
He was addressing the second Deans International Conference of Engineering Institutions in Islamabad.
“In Pakistan or elsewhere in the world, governments are shrinking. It is very imperative to get people to realise that the government cannot provide jobs. If we start looking towards the government for jobs then the framework of our economy will collapse,” the federal minister stated.
“It was the mentality of the 1970s that governments would provide jobs — now the private sector provides jobs,” he said.
However, minutes after he delivered the remarks, the minister took to Twitter to say that his statement had been taken out of context.
“[I am] astonished how every statement issued by me is made a headline without context.”
He added: “I said that the private sector and not the government provides jobs. The government has to create an environment where jobs are available. It shouldn’t be the case that everyone is looking for a government job.”
It may be mentioned here that the ruling party had promised to “create 10 million jobs over five years in key sectors: SME, housing, ICT, health, education, green economy and tourism” as part of its manifesto.
Chaudhry himself had said in January that 10 million new jobs would soon be created for the youth while 500,000 houses would be constructed for the poor as promised by the PTI government.
Earlier this year, Minister for Planning and Development Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar had said that the government would create 10m jobs in five years and enhance the sustainability of the economic growth by building fundamentals and structural reforms. “Ours is a reformist government,” he had said.