Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday said the reduction in poverty and uplift in the poor’s living standard would be the yardstick to gauge the success of his government after its five-year term.
“When I will go to the masses after completing my five-year term, my success will be as to how many people have been steered out of poverty and not how many have become richer,” the prime minister said addressing here the ceremony of an MoU signing between banks and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), National Bank of Pakistan, Bank of Punjab, Bank Al-Falah and Habib Bank banks will provide easy loans to the fishermen to enable them purchase the latest equipment like boats, onshore freezers and others for value addition in their business, besides achieving self-dependence.
Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Special Assistant to the PM Usman Dar and senior management of the four banks attended the event.
The representatives of respective banks and the Maritime Affairs Ministry signed the documents to provide loans to the fishermen under the Kamyab Jawan Programme.
The prime minister appreciated the initiative aimed at uplifting the fishermen who, he said, usually lived a hard life.
He said the MoU was in light of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) struggle, which was going to complete its 25 years on upcoming Sunday.
The prime minister proudly mentioned the recently published UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) report, which reflected the reduced level of poverty in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province during 2013 to 2018.
Due to the very reason, the PTI got a two-third majority in the next election in the province just because the life of the common man had improved there, he remarked.
Great meeting with @UNDP_Pakistan and @investinpak to develop a roadmap on #digital platform for ease of doing business. Alleviating poverty is not the same as creating prosperity. Enduring prosperity is possible by investing in innovations that create new markets! @UNDPgov pic.twitter.com/MoU00uYshx— Tariq Malik ™ (@ReplyTariq) April 19, 2021
The prime minister said the corruption was another reason behind the sufferings of fishermen and thanked the banks, which had come up to support the sector.
Calling them the engine of growth, he said the banks extending the loan to the poor fishermen were in fact contributing to the national development.
The loans under the Kamyab Jawan Programme, he said, would help upgrade the business of fishermen by enabling them to purchase and utilize the modern equipment.
The prime minister said the country was rich with immense potential in fishery, tourism and agriculture. The olive revolution initiated by the incumbent government would change the lives of the people.
Moreover, the government was also focusing on the cultivation of avocado and saffron to enhance the country’s exports, and improve the nutrition of the people, he added.
In wake of the complaints, the prime minister again emphasized the banks’ managements to train their staffers to facilitate and expedite the process of housing or business loans under the government’s schemes as they were not in the habit of dealing with such process.
He said pollution was another major issue faced by the cities due to their unplanned growth.
Due to the very reasons, the government had planned Ravi City in Lahore and Bundal Island Project in Sindh to promote the vertical buildings.
He said the haphazard growth of cities also made it difficult for the civic agencies to provide utility services to the residents. Besides, the ill-planned growth of cities was also eating up the cultivable land, he added.
The prime minister said the Federal Government would try to convince the Sindh Government, that had withdrawn the non-objection certificate (NoC) issued to the former for the development of Bundal Island project which also consisted of plants to treat sea water.
PM @ImranKhanPTI has shared a before/after comparison of an urban forest in Lahore which uses the Miyawaki technique, allowing trees to grow 10x faster and 30x denser. Over 50 new sites have been chosen for Miyawaki urban forests in Lahore to fight pollution.#Plant4Pakistan pic.twitter.com/NElDPE9lgF— Prime Minister's Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) February 13, 2021
Similarly, the Ravi City project also featured the plantation of around 70,000 trees, besides the development of 50 Miyawaki forest sites being developed by the government. He said the previous government’s inability to execute any housing project for the poor led to the mushroom growth of the slums over 40 percent of the Karachi city.
However, the incumbent government would come up with a plan to provide better housing facilities for the slum dwellers. Earlier, the prime minister, accompanied by the federal ministers and heads of the banks witnessed the signing of MoU.
Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Haider Zaidi said the exports of the country’s fisheries industry stood at around $450 million contrary to Vietnam’s around $8.5 billion. He, however, expressed the hope that consequent to the government’s ongoing initiatives, the seafood exports would touch $2.5 billion mark within one and a half years.
The minister said the fisheries sector engaged around 1% of the labour for it being the third biggest one after oil and gas.
He said besides catching many big fish involved in corruption, his ministry had ended the corruption involving the sale of deep sea fishing licenses to the parties, which used to take fish abroad illegally without reflecting it in national exports.
Moreover, the ministry would present to the cabinet the deep sea fishing policy by June for approval, he added.
Zaidi said the Kamyab Jawan Programme loans would enable the fishermen to purchase their own vessels and become an entrepreneur. Moreover, they would also be able to install freezers at their vessel to preserve the fish, which, otherwise, used to rot before reaching the market.
SAPM Usman Dar said the four of 21 partner banks of Kamyab Jawan Programme had come up to support the fishery sector, which was rich with immense potential.
He said the fishermen were never given access to finance by the previous government but the MoU would help end their deprivation.
He said with the help of Kamyab Jawan loans, around 10,000 youths had started their small or medium scale businesses providing direct employment to around 70,000 people and indirectly to 250,000.
However, he hoped that the project would help provide business loans to 100,000 youths to enable them run their own business and act as entrepreneurs.
Dar said through the programme, the government would also uplift the small medium enterprises (SMEs) sector, which in the past remained deprived of access to finance.