Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has asked MD IMF to support Pakistan, PM Shehbaz reveals
Chinese PM said Pakistan is not a friend but we have relationship with Pakistan like brothers and we are standing with Pakistan
PM Shehbaz says Pakistan would implement IMF programme in letter & spirit
Says IMF delegation was slated to visit Pakistan in 2-3 days to ‘take up and finalise’ the ninth review
Says Imran Khan through his cronies leveled allegations against China & China got severely annoyed
ISLAMABAD ( Web News )
Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has said that an International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation was slated to visit Pakistan in 2-3 days to “take up and finalise” the ninth review of the economy to unstick a direly needed bailout tranche of $1.1 billion. “I spoke to IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva [Thursday] and emphasised that Pakistan wishes to complete the IMF bailout programme,” the premier said. He said that Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during telephonic conversation on Thursday informed him that the Managing Director International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently visited China and he (Li Keqiang) told her that Pakistan is not a friend but we have relationship with Pakistan like brothers and we are standing with Pakistan and you should also support Pakistan. He said that this act could only be done by a person who is a family member.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday launched the establishment of Hazara Electric Supply Company (HAZECO). He said: “Not even a real brother can do what China has done for Pakistan”. The Chinese premier told the global lender to “help Pakistan as it is our brother,” PM Shehbaz lashed out at PTI Chairman Imran Khan for damaging relationship with the neigbouring country. He said that the previous government meted out the behavior of step mother with the best friends of Pakistan.
The premier also revealed he had conveyed it to the IMF that Pakistan would implement its programme in letter and spirit. “I received a call from the IMF Managing Director on Thursday… I told her that official taxes had been imposed on affluent people besides conveying that we could not put extra burden on the poor people,” he said.
Shehbaz Sharif said the PTI Chief Imran Khan and his aides leveled allegations of corruption against Chinese companies, a move that made the leadership of the neighbouring country angry. He blamed the predecessor (PTI government) for negligence in agreements related to gas.
“I urged her to soften the terms of the deal because the masses cannot be burdened anymore. We have slapped taxes on the rich segments of society,” the premier said.
“I also pleaded with her to dispatch a delegation for the 9th review under the loan programme and she replied that IMF officials are scheduled to visit Pakistan in over a couple of days (2-3) days.”
The prime minister said that he had assured the IMF official that, unlike its predecessor, the incumbent government would abide by its commitments with Fund without further burdening the masses.
The PM further said he had sensitised the IMF head over the country’s economic condition adversely affected by the worst floods and made it clear his government had already taxed the rich but could no more burden the poor.
The prime minister criticised the previous government for undermining Pakistan’s relations with friendly countries including China, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE because ex-prime minister Imran Khan utilised most of his energies for political victimisation and blaming the opponents.
Calling Imran a thankless person, the prime minister said the PTI chief had nothing to claim the credit for any development project in KP, Sindh, AJK, GB, and Hazara.
He said despite enjoying the immense support from the army, the PTI chief was ungrateful to the former military leadership — General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa — and was instead hurling blames at him.
PM Shehbaz said the coalition government inherited unimaginably poor economic conditions with the energy crisis, halted CPEC projects, and strained foreign relations.
He said that China made investment of $30 billion in CPEC projects in Pakistan, adding that Imran Khan through his cronies leveled allegations against China and China got severely annoyed.
He said at the upcoming International Conference of Climate Resilient Pakistan, the prime minister said he would contest the case of Pakistan.
The prime minister resolved that under PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif’s leadership, the incumbent government would lead Pakistan to become a great nation.
The prime minister also entreated the business community to support the government’s recently announced energy conservation plan marking the early closure of markets and restaurants, to ensure judicious use of national resources and reduce the import bill.
“I appeal to the business community to extend their support to the government (for energy conservation). This will reduce the oil import and bring down the dollar rate which would later be spent on country’s progress including agriculture and medicine,” the prime minister said.
Covering a total area of over 16,774 square kilometres, Hazara Electric Supply Company would cater to the needs of around 726,000 consumers across Haripur, Mansehra, Abbottabad, Battagram, Torgarh, Kohistan Upper, Kohistan Lower and Kolai Plus.
The prime minister said any difficulty faced by a nation necessitated collective action and expressed the hope that the traders from across the country would take part in this “jihad” to save the national resources.
He also apprised the gathering of his 45-minute-long telephonic conversation with the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday.
He said that Imran Khan never laid down a single brick of public development in Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkwha, Hazara, Balochistan, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. He said that there is no competition of abuses of Imran Khan, adding that unfortunately Imran Khan has destroyed the Pakistani society.
PM Shehbaz Sharif said now HAZECO has become a separate company from the Peshawar Electric Supply Company. He said all necessary formalities will soon be completed regarding the establishment of HAZECO. He, however, called for energy conservation in the country.
The Prime Minister said incomplete sui gas projects halted by the previous regime of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf will be completed soon. He said formal directions have been issued in this regard. He said as soon as gas is available, it will be provided to the people.
PM Shehbaz Sharif recalled that it was former prime minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, who ended the 20 hours-long load-shedding from the country by adding 11,000 megawatts of electricity. He said unfortunately, the PTI government of the past committed criminal negligence in development projects, including the initiatives relating to gas and power. He said Imran Khan never laid down single brick of development in the country, but has no match in hurling abuses and accusations on political opponents.
Highlighting government’s efforts to bring economic stability to the country, the Prime Minister said the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund has assured him that an IMF team will soon visit Pakistan to finalize the 9th review.
PM Shehbaz Sharif said that we have announced electricity load shedding plan and also announced time for the closure of the shops in bazaars, adding that we have taken many other steps for the conservation of electricity. He said that Pakistan paid $27 billion for importing oil, petroleum products and gas this year. Shehbaz Sharif said that the businessmen are our brothers and if we are facing difficulty then they should support the government. He said that if we will import less oil and dollars will be saved and this money will be spent for the development of country, for construction of roads, for promoting business in the country, on agriculture and for provision of medicines to the people. PM Shehbaz Sharif said that he is hopeful that all provinces, businessmen and commercial centers will jointly put their share in this jehad and will help saving Pakistan’s limited resources so that Pakistan should move forward on the road of progress while crossing these difficulties. He said that Pakistan will become great and this will be done by the Pakistanis.
Earlier speaking on the occasion, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Javed Abbasi said this project was halted by the PTI government. He expressed the belief PML-N has always served the masses and its government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will steer the country out of crises.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Energy Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan said, the previous government halted major development projects including Shanghai Electric Power Project but the incumbent took the project to completion.
He said a grid of 765KV was ready for inauguration in Mansehra and the current government had resumed the development course impeded by the PTI government.
PML-N leader Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar said with the establishment of HAZECO, the government had fulfilled a long-standing demand of the people of Hazara who were also thankful to the PML-N leadership for building the motorway and Muzaffarabad road for their facilitation.
Senator Pir Sabir Shah and Advisor to the Prime Minister and President PML-N Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Engineer Ameer Muqam Khan thanked the prime minister for the establishment of the HAZECO and demanded of the government to lift the ban on jobs in distribution companies.