PM stresses need to bridge trade gap

Consultations with industrialists and exporters underway to address the issue


APP September 10, 2021
Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares Bueno calls on Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad on September 10, 2021. PHOTO:PID

ISLAMABAD:

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said that there was need to take urgent measures in order to check the existing gap between imports and exports "now that all economic indicators were moving towards positive trajectory".

Presiding over a meeting to review the various measures taken by his government to enhance the volume of country’s exports, PM Imran directed the commerce division to present a "strategic exports framework" within the next two weeks and set targets for the trade and investment officers posted abroad.

National Security Advisor Dr. Moeed Yusuf, Special Assistant to PM Dr. Shehbaz Gill, Secretaries of the Commerce and Energy Divisions and senior officers were in attendance.

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The meeting was told that with focus on 19 products including in the areas of Information Technology (IT), textile, medicines, poultry, rice, vegetables, dry fruit, leather, salt, marble, ceramics and surgical instruments, the country’s current volume of exports could be increased by US $30 billion.

The commerce division told the meeting that consultation with all the stakeholders including industrialists, exporters and relevant government institutions was in progress.

The premier pointed out that by facilitating and smoothing out business for exporters, the government aimed to diversify products and markets.

He further said that as Pakistani business community had a lot of potential, the provision of business-friendly environment and policies was the government’s foremost priority.

He said that since the government was committed to providing all possible facilitation to the business community, it also expected them to benefit from this opportunity and fully support the government in its efforts to strengthen economy.

Additionally, the premier also chaired a meeting on Friday to overview the distribution of Sehat Insaf Cards in Punjab.

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The PM was told that the distribution process of 40 million Sehat Insaf Cards across all 36 districts of Punjab would start on December 31 this year and would be complete by March next year.

A massive awareness campaign would also be held to ensue better utility of the health insurance facility.

Special assistants to PM Dr Faisal Sultan and Dr Shahbaz Gill, Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid, K-P Health Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra and other senior officers attended the meeting.
The prime minister directed the authorities concerned to utilize all out resources for effective execution of the project.

Terming Sehat Insaf Card a "milestone achievement" of the incumbent government, the prime minister said the 'Universal Health Coverage' was a key component of the government’s vision.

The provision of quality healthcare to the poor was not only the government’s responsibility but also the manifestation of government’s priorities, he added.

He viewed that the health insurance would not only be extending quality healthcare to the people but also bringing about a boom in private hospitals.

The prime minister instructed the health ministers that besides ensuring uniform health facilities to the poor, they should also set up a mechanism for proper guidance of the beneficiaries particularly the illiterate ones.

He also called for making the beneficiaries’ feedback a permanent feature of the program to address the shortcomings without delay.

The prime minister also instructed for setting up special cells at federal and provincial levels to achieve effective implementation of the project. 

 

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