Coalition govt steered country out of economic crisis despite all odds: PM

  • Vows to break ‘begging bowl’ by curtailing government expenses
  • Performs groundbreaking of 8 projects along with Maulana Fazl, other ministers

DI KHAN: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehabaz Sharif on Tuesday said that the coalition government resolved the economic crisis and put the country on track during past 16 months in the face multifaceted challenges like devastating flood hit the country soon after he took charge of the office.

“The country has emerged out of the current economic crisis”, Prime Minister Shehbaz Shehbaz Sharif asserted while speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of eight development projects in Dera Ismail Khan here on Tuesday.

PM Shehbaz vowed to break the “begging bowl” by curtailing government expenses, reported state media.

Lashing out at the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief and former prime minister Imran Khan, Shehbaz said that the former premier exploited the economic situation he himself had created to gain political mileage.

The prime minister emphasized that devastating floods hit the country soon after his government took office amid growing inflation and an unrelenting political crises. Yet, the coalition government managed to steer the country out of the economic crisis, he said.

“We faced devastating floods on one side, and inflation, pressure by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and a political crisis on the other. Such challenging problems have never been faced by me in my whole life,” he said.

Shehbaz said that all the coalition parties had unanimously decided to ensure economic stability at all costs, including their politics. Such resolve on their part helped the government bring the country out of crisis, he said, adding that there was record wheat production as compared to the previous decade, which saved the country billions of dollars.

The prime minister claimed that political opponents had wished for the country to default but such hopes were thwarted by the incumbent government.

Had former regimes fully utilised the country’s rich resources such as hydropower, the country might have had affordable and clean energy, said Shehbaz, stressing the overhaul of a faulty power transmission system that causes losses worth more than Rs400 billion to the national exchequer.

Vowing to break the pattern of borrowing, Shehbaz said that a comprehensive plan of Pakistan Green Initiative has been undertaken to take the country to new heights of development and prosperity.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who was present on the occasion, thanked the prime minister for his personal interest in ensuring the development of the area.

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had laid the foundation for many mega projects, which the PTI government seized hampering economic development, claimed Fazl.

He claimed that industrial estates being established in Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan would change the fate of the people in the area.

Energy Minister Khurram Dastgir was full of praises for the premier as well.

He said that development projects, which were suspended between 2018 to 2022, were now being completed on priority.

Due to the PM’s personal intervention, 5,000MW of electricity was added to the national grid in just 16 months, said Dastgir.

The transmission line in Thar was completed in a few months and work on three new grid stations of Rs2 billion in Dera Ismail Khan was initiated by the current government, he added.

Similarly, Minister of State for Communications Asad Mehmood said that the coalition government is committed towards creating a link road between Gwadar Port and other Central Asian countries under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

He said the projects inaugurated by Nawaz are being restored and completed in various areas, especially in the southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).

A sufficient supply of energy at an affordable price is being ensured, said Minister of State for Petroleum Dr Musadik Malik.

In the past year, around 270 mmcf gas worth over $1 billion was discovered from various areas of the country, he said. Of which 138 mmcf has already been injected to the system while the rest would be included soon, he added.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Haji Ghulam Ali, the National Assembly deputy speaker, provincial ministers and government officials were also present on the occasion.

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