PM Sharif calls for deep structural reforms to avoid further debt traps

NewsDrum Desk
New Update

Islamabad, Jul 10 (PTI) Warning against any laxity in the implementation of the government’s downsizing agenda for the cash-strapped economy, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday underscored the need for “deep structural reforms” to avoid further IMF debt programmes.

Sharif was speaking while chairing the cabinet meeting focussed on downsizing the government departments, according to the state-run news agency Associated Press of Pakistan (APP).

“Time is running fast and we are racing against time. You have to accept the challenge and deliver. You will become the nation’s heroes if you bring about a revolution of development in your ministries. For this, we will have to work day and night,” he remarked.

“I will not allow my time to waste and I am sure you will not allow your time to be wasted. The only thing that will make a difference is action and implementation. Roll up your sleeves as this is a matter of country, its resources and resolution of its issues,” he said.

The prime minister categorically said that he would not listen to the closure of the Pakistan Works Department (PWD) as the government had also found an alternative solution to the pattern of Punjab.

“I will not tolerate if any ministry used delaying tactics. Please make no mistake about it. It is okay if there is any valid reason for any subsidiary but protecting any entity for the sake of perks and privileges is a thing of the past, not today. It will not happen and it must not happen,” he remarked.

Earlier, the cabinet had approved the action plan for the abolition of Pakistan Public Works Department (Pak PWD) and decided the formation of a Pakistan Infrastructure Development Company (PIDC) to oversee federal development projects and an Asset And Facility Management Company (AAFMC) for repair and maintenance works, the APP said.

The cabinet was also briefed about the performance of the committee formed to reduce the government’s volume and that it would complete the information gathering about the unnecessary departments of the multiple ministries by July 12.

The committee will present proposals before the cabinet by the first week of August, it added.

Sharif spoke about the Rs 50 billion relief package for power consumers of the protected category for three months and said, “During these three months, I want massive fiscal space through enforcement, such as plugging financial leakages and addressing tax evasion.” He also gave details about solarisation of millions of tube wells, high taxes imposed on the real estate sector to generate Rs 100 billion in revenue and to do away with a culture of tax evasion, reiterated his call for the ministers to work hard and sought plans from commerce and IT ministers to boost exports.

“This cannot go on for long. We need to bring deep structural reforms and take bitter pills. I pray that this should be the last IMF programme but it needs sacrifices,” he commented.

“I beg of you in the name of Pakistan. Let us stand up, accept the challenge, move forward in unison, and make a difference, as the nation wants results,” he added. PTI SH NPK NPK NPK