Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday acknowledged the fact that the poor people are suffering and are “pained” by the soaring inflation and the lack of opportunities across the country, but simultaneously defended his government by stating that the government is “making full efforts so that the lower class is not affected by the rising prices of commodities”.
While addressing the launch ceremony of the Kamyab Pakistan Programme (KPP) in Islamabad, he stated that “all the systems in Pakistan have been made for the elite.”
PM Imran Khan opines that it is not the incumbent government who is responsible for the inflation and economic disparity but it is because of the “huge mistake” committed by the country’s founding members not to make Pakistan a welfare state.
“We made a huge mistake 74 years ago. We believed that we would make Pakistan a welfare state after there was prosperity and wealth in the country. The thought — that there needs to be surplus first and then we (government) will invest in the poor — I believe these were fundamentally wrong decisions.”, he stated.
The PM compared Pakistan with China and India, and stated that the countries had been “almost at the same level” 35-40 years ago but “today, China has reached the skies while in India, there is an island of rich people and the rest [live in] poverty.” The PM opines that China’s progress is subjected to following the model of Riyasat-e-Madina.
While talking about the soaring inflation rate, the PM stated that “The price of oil has increased 100 per cent internationally. We have only increased 22pc in Pakistan. Aside from 19 oil-producing countries, Pakistan has the cheapest petrol and diesel.”
He said 75 percent of palm oil in the country was being imported and therefore the public was facing the impact of “imported inflation”. He stated that the global prices of wheat and sugar grew 37 and 40 percent compared with 12 and 21 percent in Pakistan, respectively.
“The price of wheat has risen by 37pc internationally because of the crunch that has come due to supply lines being affected by Covid. We have only increased prices by 12pc in Pakistan. Sugar prices have risen by 40pc, but we have increased only by 21pc,” he added.
The PM revealed that the incumbent government would soon announce another programme through which the poor can get relief. Along with this, he added that the prices would fall once supply issues caused by the pandemic will be resolved.
The PM announced a 40 percent targeted subsidy for the poor on purchase of essential food items, which would provide relief to the lower-income people.
While sharing details about the Kamyab Pakistan Programme, the PM revealed that around Rs1.4 trillion soft loans will be provided to 3.7 million families across the country.
The programme will have five components. Farmers will get interest-free loans under the Kamyab Kissan programme, financing of up to Rs500,000 will be made for setting up a business under the Kamyab Karobar programme, financing on easy installments will be extended for construction of houses under the Sasta Ghar scheme, besides linking successful skilled-based scholarship scheme and Sehat Insaf Card with the KPP, said a statement by the Prime Minister Office.
The PM justified the economic disparity between the rich and the poor across Pakistan by calling it a fault of the education system. The PM called it a “huge misfortune” that SNC was not implemented from the very beginning. He stated that only those who went to English medium schools got good jobs, while the rest of the public was not able to progress.
“A different standard of education for one class [of society] and a different one for another — education apartheid. And then there were madrasahs. Nobody tried to synthesize it. [This is] one country, one nation, at least it should have a core syllabus. Our kind of elite was benefiting from it, our children were getting good jobs so we had no incentive to change it.”, he conclude