LAHORE: The government is committed to providing the industry an enabling environment for wealth creation to progress, reduce the current account deficit (CAD), alleviate poverty and add to respect of the country in comity of nations, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Saturday.
Addressing the members of business community at the office of Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma), the prime minister said his commitment to improving industry in Pakistan is two pronged: it can generate wealth and reduce CAD which is hurting the economy.
“Pakistan, somehow, developed a mindset in the 70s that all wealth creation is a bad thing and it still persists in the bureaucratic and political circles, hindering growth. We tend to confuse profit making and profiteering. The former is legitimate and later is bad. Two big leaders – Mahatir Muhammad of Malaysia and Sheikh Muhammad of the UAE – told me the same thing: let people make money and the country would grow. The Chinese, who had taken 700 million people out of poverty in three decades, also praised virtues of wealth creation in their numerous presentations to us. That is what the PTI government now wants,” he told his audience.
“For this, the government would ensure that the industry stays competitive in the world. If industry in other countries gets subsidised gas and electricity, so would the industry in Pakistan. If it is facing rebates and refunds issues, that would be solved. The government is currently facing some fiscal crunch and may not be able to solve all these issues in one go. However, it stays committed to solve all these problems for the industry,” PM Khan assured the Aptma leadership.
“The world sees Pakistan and its potential differently. They see 220 million people as wealth and also know that once Pakistan is able to improve its governance system, it has immense potential. For that potential, friends are ready to help us, and they doing as well. But such financial help should, and can, only be a one-time activity because it fringes upon our sovereignty. Luckily, there are no strings attached to the money received by Pakistan because it came from friends: it rather helped Pakistan improve its image by being cast into a role of a peacemaker. Recently, we helped the USA by arranging a historic meeting with Taliban. It has helped in Saudi-Yemen crisis and now plans to concentrate on Saudi-Iranian troubled relations. It was only because of friends, otherwise seeking such financial aid is a bad omen for a country. That is where PTI government needs help of the industry,” he said.
“So create wealth, alleviate poverty, generate employment and help country grow and the government would stand with industry shoulder-by-shoulder,” the prime minister urged the industrialists.