President: (Govt committed in improving economy)

ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif has said that strenuous and sincere efforts were being made to ensure better and secure future of our coming generations. Despite negative impacts of the sit-ins (dharnas), the government has worked really hard to put the economy on the right track.

The President and the Prime Minister gave these remarks while talking to a delegation of a business community that called on the two leaders here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr on Wednesday.

On the occasion the President thanked the Prime Minister for appreciating his suggestion and to hold a meeting with the eminent traders and businessmen of the country to provide impetus to the trade activities and further improve economy of the country.

The President observed that the Government was serious towards improving the economy and to promote trade and commerce in the country. In this regard the policies of the Government were in the right direction, said the President.

He underscored the need for the traders and business community to take maximum benefit from the policies of the government so that the economy is further stabilized and more and more job opportunities are created.

The President said that law & order situation and energy shortages were the two major obstructions in the way of promotion of economic activities and the Government was fully concentrating on addressing these issues. He assured the traders that these issues would be resolved at the earliest possible.

The Prime Minister on the occasion said that energy shortage and terrorism were the two major issues facing the country but the Government was not deterred by these challenges and, accepting the challenge the government was making every possible effort to address these issues.

He said the decision to set-up military court has not been made by any dictator but by the democratic dispensation itself. He emphasised that the independence of judiciary was essential but equally important is the performance of judiciary. The Prime Minister said that pendency of numerous cases has contributed towards law and order issues.

He said that very soon the cases of attack on Malala Yousafzai and that mountaineers in the Northern Areas would be brought to the military courts. He said that we have to make Pakistan a secure and peaceful place for our future generations.

He reiterated that the government was addressing energy and petrol issues of the domestic consumers and the business community. Power plants are also being set up in the county, he continued. He said that we want maximum production of electricity by 2017 so that the investors and business community could be assured that they have all the resources and energy to meet their requirements.

He informed the delegation that it has been decided to lay gas pipeline from Gwadar to Nawab Shah. Pipeline would also be laid from Iran to Gwadar, said the Prime Minister. He said that for establishing infrastructure, work is in progress and tenders have been called for many infrastructural projects.

He said that work was underway speedily on construction of Karachi-Lahore Motorway and in this regard funds worth 55 billion rupees have been released. He said that China was interested in construction of Multan-Sukkur Motorway and negotiations are underway in this regard.

He said that Khunjrab-Gawadar Highway was also being constructed. Speedy work is in progress to make Gawader port fully functional. These projects, said the Prime Minister, were very important for the country.

The Prime Minister said that despite difficulties, the economy is moving on the right path and economic indicators are much better today as compared to the past. The foreign exchange reserves of the country have shore up to $15 billion. He said that the Government was trying to further strengthen Pakistani currency. He said that had dharnas not been there, the economy would have been even better.

On this occasion the Prime Minister also directed Chairman FBR to hold consultation meetings with the eminent traders and leading businessmen of the country and to present suggestions within next ten days on possible reduction of taxes on various items.

During the meeting the Prime Minister also called Chairman Private Power Infrastructure Board and directed him to clear all pending power generation projects. The Prime Minister assured the business community that he would visit Karachi in the coming few days and review law and order situation.

In this regard he will also hold consultations with traders, industrialists and other segments of society. The Prime Minister said that the new laws aimed at eliminating terrorism would be implemented in other parts of the country also.

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