Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the government is working on adopting austerity measures, while maintaining the development of the merged tribal areas as the top priority, with a focus on the provision of health, education and other facilities, besides maintaining law and order situation in these areas.
“The government is striving to cut maximum expenditures in the upcoming budget by adopting austerity measures,” said the prime minister during a meeting with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Governor Shah Farman and Chief Minister Mahmood Khan.
Minister for Communication Murad Saeed, Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan, and Special Assistant on Political Affairs Naeemul Haq were present, a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said.
The meeting took stock of the progress and future strategy for the development and progress of the merged tribal areas.
“The government is making all-out efforts to provide employment opportunities to the youth in these areas so that they can fully utilise their potentials,” Prime Minister Khan said.
Lauding the immense sacrifices by the residents of erstwhile tribal areas for the solidarity of the country, he said that the government is specially focusing on the social and economic uplift of these areas to improve the living standard on a par with the rest of the country.
However, Khan said, full focus is on the development of backward areas and to provide assistance to the disadvantaged segments of society.
He mentioned that in the upcoming budget, special attention is paid on the progress and development of the less-developed areas of Baluchistan and the erstwhile tribal areas.
Chief Minister Mahmood Khan apprised the prime minister of the progress in the ongoing development projects in these areas, especially about the provision of the Sehat Insaf health card.
Separately, during a ceremony in Multan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the present government would introduce the “Ehsaas Programme” in the upcoming budget to facilitate unemployed youth, poor women and other deserving people of the country.
“The Ehsaas Programme has 215 policies, which would surely help address economic problems of the poor,” the minister said.
Qureshi said that the government is also committed to introducing an excellent local government system, with representatives empowered with funds to spend at the grass-root level for welfare of the masses.
The minister said that the past, rulers had ignored south Punjab and did nothing for its development.
Queshi added that the construction of Nishtar Hospital II would also help address the health issues of the masses.
He remarked that both the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) – the parties that ruled the country previously – plundered public money and had taken record loans during the last 10 years of their government, which had hampered the country’s progress.
However, Qureshi added that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government would ensure matchless progress in the country through wise and people-friendly policies.
The minister said the masses would re-elect the PTI in the next elections on basis of its performance.
The PTI government’s tenure would be different from the past ones as there would be no commission in any scheme, he said.
The foreign minister also announced that there would be funding for the construction of Surij Kund Road.
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