Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday castigated the opposition parties for adopting a “non-serious” attitude towards the government’s efforts for introducing electoral reforms in the country to ensure transparency in the future elections.
Talking to the media persons after attending the Pakistan International Film Festival (PIFF) as the chief guest, he expressed the hope that the Sindh government would spend the funds provided by the Centre in the next year’s budget on the welfare of people.
“For transparency in the future elections, all the parties must show seriousness, but the opposition has adopted a non-serious attitude in that regard,” the minister told reporters.
To a question, the minister said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ahsan Iqbal had rejected the electronic voting machine without understanding its importance.
Chaudhry said he hoped that in the next fiscal year the Sindh government would spend the funds provided by the federal government on the welfare of people. “It is not clear where the funds allocated by the Centre in the past were used as nothing is seen on the ground,” he added.
“The people of urban areas of Sindh, particularly Karachi, have been complaining of non-redressal of their grievances because the provincial government is not fulfilling its responsibility in this regard,” the minister said.
Chaudhry said the mayor of Karachi should be chosen through direct election, with due share of funds from the Provincial Finance Commission at his disposal, to carry out the development work in the mega city. “If they continue to rely on [Sindh Chief Minister] Murad Ali Shah and company, there will be no progress in Karachi,” he added.
He said a number of development schemes and projects were under way in other cities and towns of Sindh, but the people of Karachi were totally ignored by the provincial government as far as civic, health and educational facilities were concerned.
He noted that the business community was not setting new industrial units in the city due to corrupt practices of the provincial government.Film policy
Meanwhile, addressing as the chief guest at the PIFF, Chaudhry announced that the federal government would soon launch a film policy for the revival of film industry with the provision of due incentives.
“Electricity billing category of cinemas would be converted from commercial to industrial, besides waiving off taxes to give relief to investors,” he said. The minister added that the government was offering loans of up to Rs50 million to filmmakers, within the age limit of 45 years.
Chaudhry also announced establishment of four institutions – a media technology university, a film school in Karachi, an institution for performing arts and a school for modern journalism in order to boost the film industry.
He urged the universities which offered degrees in mass communication discipline, to upgrade their syllabi as per the modern world. The minister asked the people belonging to film industry to focus on the film markets of Turkey, China and Saudi Arabia.
“If the lobbies are not allowing Pakistani content, it could be sold to Netflix.” he said. He added that the Saudi Arabia was about to establish 2,000 cinemas, which was a great opportunity for the Pakistani film industry to avail.