Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Monday unveiled its nine-point industrial policy, vowing to revive the industry by restoring confidence of investors and create 10 million new jobs for youth by shifting focus to skill development.
“Industry in Pakistan is in dire straits due to a crippling energy crisis, lack of access to finance and skill shortages, hence the PTI industrial policy aims to build solid foundations for the revival of industry by creating 10 million new jobs for the youth over the next five years and to make the sector more viable and competitive in international markets,” said PTI leader Asad Umar, while announcing the industrial policy.
Speaking to the media on the occasion, PTI Chairman Imran Khan said the country would no longer be in need of any foreign aid if his party was voted to power as the main focus of PTI would be on human development and eradicating corruption.
“Poverty has been increasing due to rising corruption and the only solution to inflation is to eliminate corruption and take action against those involved in corrupt practices. We will ensure supremacy of law and will not use the army against the public,” said the PTI chief.
“Country can be made richer by recovering public money kept in offshore accounts by some corrupt leaders,” he said, adding only PTI could take such a step as its leaders had all their assets in Pakistan.
Poor law and order had compelled investors to stop businesses in Pakistan, he said and asked “how can an investor come to the country where cricketers are not ready to play.”
He claimed that just 90 days were required to enforce rule of law in the country, making it clear that all the PTI policies and decisions were doable.
He pointed out that talent was present in Pakistan, but lack of skills has hampered progressive activities. “Our party’s main focus will be on skill development to make people perform their best not only for their own country but also in foreign countries,” he said.
PTI has also committed to eliminating electricity and gas shortages within its first term in office by resolving the circular debt problem with the help of a lower cost of power generation and reduction in line losses.
“Gas import should be expedited and equitable rationing of resources should be ensured until gas arrives. Provinces will have to play their role in developing indigenous energy resources and making Pakistan an energy-secure state,” stressed the PTI leader.
Senior party leaders including Jahangir Khan Tareen, Naeemul Haq, Ayla Malik, Dr Israr Shah and others were present on the occasion.
Asad Umar underlined the need for taking proactive and effective measures to boost investor confidence, stressing that rent seeking and corruption needed to be checked and an alternative dispute resolution mechanism developed to speed up contract enforcement.
“PTI in its economic policy has committed to reducing fiscal deficit to 4.5% of GDP, creating space for banks to lend to the industry and SMEs. We will set up specialised financial institutions to raise long-term capital for the industry by focusing on developing vibrant debt and capital markets to fund investment spending,” he said.
PTI will also allocate land for special economic zones around every major urban centre to develop industries based on natural resources.
PTI’s skills development strategy aims to scale up enrollment for acquiring technical skills to two million workers from less than 0.3 million today. “Technical skills for workers will not only boost individual income generation capacity, but also the productivity of the industry,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 5th, 2013.
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