Eyes $100b export by 2018: PML-N election manifesto promises one million jobs

Party also pledges to increase spending on health, education and tackle energy crisis.


Abdul Manan March 07, 2013
PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif talks to the media as he presents his party manifesto during a press conference in Lahore on Thursday. PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE:


Main opposition party the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has launched its manifesto, titled “Strong economy strong Pakistan,” ahead of the upcoming general elections.


PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif presented the comprehensive manifesto himself at a launching ceremony held in Lahore on Thursday.

According to the manifesto, the PML-N would establish a business and economic council under the prime minister of the country. The party promises to increase the country’s exports to $100 billion and the tax to GDP ratio from 9% to 15% by 2018. Furthermore, the manifesto vowed to double the annual average rate of GDP growth from 3% in the last five years to 6%; to accelerate industrial growth from 3% to 8% per annum; bring down the budget deficit to 4%; raise the investment to GDP ratio from 12% to 20% and improve the standard of PIA and Pakistan Railways.

Regarding the energy sector, Nawaz said that party would generate 10,000 MW additional power. He said his government would construct new coal-fired power plants with 5,000 MW capacity and mobilise investment of $20 billion for them. The party chief said an effective and competent team would execute the energy plan of the party.

For education, the PML-N would increase expenditure on the sector from 2% to 4% of GDP by 2018 and raise the literacy level to 80% from 54%. Danish schools would be spread across the country, he added.

The PML-N would increase expenditure on health from 1% of GDP to 2%; provide medical insurance cards to every family; ensure 100% vaccination of children and 50% reduction in maternal and infant mortality; set up 1,000 mobile health units and establish a district health authority in each district.

The manifesto also promises that once the PML-N comes into power, one million youth would be provided jobs. The PML-N will also hold local government elections within six months of taking the country’s helm, it adds.

Furthermore, Nawaz said the PML-N would form a commission to carve out three new provinces – Hazara, South Punjab and Bahawalpur.

The party also states it has a zero tolerance policy for corruption.

The manifesto promises that the PML-N will form and adopt effective policies towards improving the law and order situation of the country, and will launch an operation in Karachi against criminals.

The party chief said that despite hurdles created by the federal government, the Punjab government has carried out record development works in the past five years.

He claimed that an opposition camp was set up in the Governor’s House against the Punjab government and added that governors have been continuously issuing statements against the provincial government.

Nawaz said that even though an unjust attitude was adopted against the people of the province with regards to power and gas supply, the Punjab government was successful in providing relief to the people by completing development projects.

Replying to questions, Nawaz said his party believes drones are against the country’s sovereignty; he favours the Iran Pakistan gas pipeline project and the army chief would be appointed on a merit/seniority basis.


Published in The Express Tribune, March 8th, 2013.

COMMENTS (16)

BILAL | 7 years ago | Reply

Only Imran Khan can collect taxes from the rich people. No taxes and no progress. PMLN and PPP are tax evaders.

Saba | 7 years ago | Reply

Even with respect to economy and welfare oriented measures, the manifesto seems overambitious, sounding more like a wish list rather than a concrete programme reflecting the economic realities. On the face of it, raising the minimum wage to Rs15,000 per month, investing US$ 20 billion in the energy sector to generate 10,000 MW of electricity to end power shortage within three years, adopting zero tolerance policy against corruption, creating 1,000 clusters of 500 houses each for low income groups, creation of three million jobs, taking the GDP growth to six percent, reducing budget deficit to four percent, eliminating circular debt and making the defence impregnable by introduction of ultra modern and scientific techniques to maintain balance of power in the region, are quite laudable. But the dilemma is that implementing such a programme would require the availability of astronomical amounts of money. The manifesto fails to project the amount of money that will be required to implement the ambitious programme on the basis of proper and specific costing for each venture and the avenues that will be tapped to generate that kind of money.

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