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Ppl supporting govt as it has undertaken reforms: Firdous Ashiq

31 May, 2019

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ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to PM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Thursday said that people of Pakistan would hold corrupt elements accountable for their involvement in money laundering and transactions through fake bank accounts.

Speaking at a press conference along with Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, she said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was a hurdle in the way of corruption of the parties which were only serving each other’s interests.

She said that the government was not concerned about the call of opposition parties for protest after Eid. “People are supporting the government as it has undertaken reforms which are beneficial for everybody,” she added.

She said Prime Minister Imran Khan had protected rights of Pakistan. “Last night, 320 Pakistani prisoners held in Malaysia returned to the country due to efforts of the government. Prime Minister Imran Khan is a friend of the poor people and feels their pain,” she said, adding the detainees joined their families which was a gift for them on the occasion of Eidul Fitr.

The special assistant said the exports of the country could not grow to the desired level as trade had slowed down in the world by three percent.

She said the government was working to revive the manufacturing sector and would extend support to all the export oriented industries. Explaining the reasons for low tax collection, she said the number of industrial connections were 3.1 million, while those who paid General Sales Tax were only 40,000.

She said the government was aware of the anxiety among media workers and cheques were being prepared to clear dues of media houses in tranches, which would be bound to pay the salaries to their employees.

She said she met Punjab chief minister and discussed the issue of non-payment of salaries to media workers.

Dr Firdous said leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-N went to meet their leader Nawaz Sharif in jail and spent their time in reciting poetry and making jokes.

“People will not be hoodwinked by prisoners,” she said, adding PML-N leaders had attacked Supreme Court of Pakistan and issued directions to judges. “Their leaders Talal Chaudhry and Nihal were involved in contempt of court,” she said.

She said institutions should be respected. “PML-N respected institutions according to its wishes,” she said.

Talking to reporters, Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood said that 313 Pakistani products would be declared ‘duty-free’ by China.

“There has been a lot of talk about our exports suffering. People question us about our exports. I would like to clear the air on our exports. We must take a look at the global trade, global trade has suffered a 3 percent decline due to the US-China trade war. Due to global trade decline, our primary target markets have reduced prices on the products we are importing, prices have been reduced up to 7.2%,” he said.

Dawood said that there was no significant change in the export figures from last year. “Where global trade has suffered a 3% deficit, Pakistan has maintained its export figures. This is a positive indication, a reasonably good performance,” he said.

“Our imports have decreased by $4 billion, which is an indicator that Pakistan is moving towards self reliance and our trade gap is closing.”

The commerce advisor expressed the hope that the upcoming year would yield even better trade results for the country if market access was provided to the businessmen.

Shedding light on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China, Dawood said that they had added an additional clause to the agreement empowering Pakistan to reserve the right that if Pakistan’s industry suffered due to China, then Pakistan could take ‘safeguard measures’ which consisted of short and long-term measures.

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