All govts should move together to end poverty: PM

SIFC reviews progress on ongoing collaboration with friendly countries in a cordial atmosphere. Info minister claims federation, provinces on one page after KP CM Gandapur attends SIFC meeting. Tarar says six special desks will be established to facilitate investors from UAE, KSA, China, Qatar, EU, USA.

ISLAMABAD  -  The apex committee of Special Investment Facilitation Council on Saturday reviewed the progress on ongoing economic collaboration with friendly countries and appreciated the recent upsurge in trade and investment related engagements under government-to-government and business-to-business frameworks. The 10th meeting of SIFC’s apex committee chaired by Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif also gave directions for an efficient follow-up mechanism to transform these commitments into tangible projects and economic dividends, at a fast pace.  The meeting was convened to review various initiatives and projects under its ambit, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release. The meeting was attended by Chief of Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir, members of the federal cabinet, chief ministers and high-level government officials.

The prime minister appreciated the role of SIFC and affiliated stakeholders for steering the investment and privatization drive, in a befitting manner. He also gave directions to fast-track various initiatives through ‘whole of the government’ approach and play a constructive role towards the economic stability of the country.

The chief of army staff reassured the firm resolve of Pakistan Army to backstop government’s initiatives for economic prosperity of the country and socio-economic well-being of its people.  During the meeting, the ministries gave comprehensive progress on various projects and policy initiatives being steered through the platform of SIFC, and proffered plans for accomplishment of set milestones in the future.  

The committee exhibited profound satisfaction on the overall progress achieved so far and appreciated the role of federal ministries, provincial governments and associated departments in realising the envisioned dividends. The committee appreciated the facilitation provided from the platform of SIFC for improving macro-economic conditions of the country.

It also reviewed the progress on privatisation of state-owned-enterprises (SOEs) and expressed satisfaction with the ongoing process. It urged timely accomplishment of various privatization milestones in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.

The committee reiterated the commitment to improve the investment ecosystem and gave directions to make it more investment-friendly through sustainable policy initiatives.

‘SIFC playing critical role in country’s progress’

Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday said that the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) was playing a critical role in country’s progress and prosperity and thanked the provincial governments for expressing their confidence in SIFC.

Addressing a meeting of SIFC, the prime minister said that they should work tirelessly to build a ‘Pakistan as perceived by their founding fathers and by acting upon the advices of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Muhammad Iqbal.’  

The prime minister urged the provincial governments to further support the SIFC and move ahead in unison like a family to compensate for the losses of the past and overcome issues of poverty and hunger in the country.

He said that the federal government did not get enough for initiating development projects after distribution of resources among the provinces, therefore under such conditions all the governments should move together with unity.  

Updating the members of SIFC about his recent visit to the United Arab Emirates, he said the UAE leadership had announced 10 billion dollars investment in Pakistan and expressed their complete confidence in SIFC.  

The leadership of brotherly countries and others as well were aware of the functioning of SIFC, he observed.  When SIFC was formed through legal procedures, certain concerns were expressed by a quarter but with the passage of time, its significance, efficiency and achievements had shut all kinds of criticism and everybody now fully supported its initiatives, he added.  

The prime minister also cited his meeting with a German delegation that was also aware of the functioning of the SIFC. The prime minister stressed that they should resolve today to achieve their targets as sky was the limit and would work day and night to transform Pakistan into something upon which the Pakistanis could feel pride, adding it was possible with the untiring efforts and by shedding sweat and blood.  

The prime minister also underlined the need of capacity building and enhancing professionalism of experts in different fields. He said that he had already instructed the ministries clearly to hire consultants and experts and would soon seek their feedback.

The prime minister said that the digitisation process of the Federal Bureau of Revenue had already commenced.  He urged all the stakeholders to redouble their efforts and promote the local talent and industry, adding that 60 per cent population of the country comprised youth bulge, who should be trained in IT field while the natural resources worth billions of rupees lying untapped be fully utilised.   

The prime minister also credited SIFC for paving way for the Reko Diq project in Balochistan province.

‘Federation, provinces on one page’

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Attaullah Tarar said Saturday that the meeting of Special Investment Facilitation Council had given a message of unity as federation and provinces were on one page on the issue of development of the country.

Speaking to the media after the SIFC meeting, he said it was serious forum and its meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere. He said open discussion was held over national economy, attracting investment and public private partnership.

Tarar said he was grateful to all chief ministers for not only attending the meeting but also giving their input. He said this forum will move forward with the input of all including the chief ministers of the four provinces.

The minister also congratulated all the provincial governments on meaningful meeting of SIFC. Investment will be promoted through SIFC forum both at Federal and provincial level.

On Thursday, the PTI had lashed out at the government for allegedly excluding CM Gandapur from the invitation for today’s SIFC meeting.

He said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had issued directives for establishment of six desks to promote investment and trade through SIFC which was the lifeline of the country’s economy. The special desks will be established for United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, China, Qatar, European Union and United States of America. He said all the chief ministers lauded the contribution of SIFC in promotion of investment and trade. Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has also assured cooperation, he remarked.

“The prime minister has made it clear that we do not want aid or loans, our focus will be on investment and trade,” the minister maintained.

He said that meetings of SIFC Executive Committee will be held more frequently and it will be empowered to make decisions.

He remarked that federation and provinces were on one page on issue of national development.

To a question, Tarar said he had a conversation with chief minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in a cordial atmosphere. He said that in politics, doors for talks and consultation were kept open and this was a good omen.

To another question, he said that on privatization of PIA he said substantial development had been done. He said that capacity building of ministries will be done and consultants will be hired for this purpose.

He said that SIFC had played an important role in investment agreements with friendly countries. He said that friendly countries had shared interests with Pakistan that is why they had always cooperated with Pakistan. Tarar said all financial indicators were positive and allocations were being made by friendly countries. He said inflation had come down from 37 pc to 17 per cent and its trickle down effects were reaching the masses. He hoped that inflation will come down further in the coming days.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt