Direct subsidy to be provided to poor families soon: PM Imran
Says forces of status quo do not want Pakistan to change for better
Prime Minister Imran Khan said Friday that according to a report, poverty had reduced in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) during the last six years under the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Speaking in Lahore at the groundbreaking ceremony of the LDA apartments’ scheme, he said the biggest project that was in the pipeline was that of direct subsidy, which would be provided to the poor families once 100 per cent data of these families was received.
Prime Minister Imran Khan urged the country to "transform itself" if it was to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
The prime minister thanked the courts for allowing the government to implement the foreclosure law, saying that because of it, the government had been able to allow people to own houses on mortgage.
He told the gathering that now people from the lower income classes such as mechanics, welders and others could own their houses as well by repaying the loans they had borrowed from banks in installments.
"Because of this [foreclosure law], banks could give loans to the people," he said, and added, "If this law were not there, banks would not be able to give loans," adding that compared to the developed countries, Pakistan did not have a system of mortgage housing schemes.
"This means that those who do not have cash in hand, can never buy their own homes," he said. Explaining to the audience the benefits of the mortgage agreement, the prime minister said in this system people had to pay installments instead of rent and in the end they became owners of their own homes.
Prime Minister Imran was of the view that the forces supporting the status quo did not want Pakistan to change for the better. “Over the years, the country has become used to a system wherein greasing somebody’s palms to get work done is a normal practice,” he regretted.
He thanked the Lahore Development Authority for taking the initiative and acknowledged the Punjab government’s support to the Authority in this connection. "The LDA has brought about a lot of improvement in itself," the prime minister said.
Answering the critics who question his government's intention to establish a state in Pakistan similar to state of Medina, PM Imran said it will take time, but, at the same time, assured that Pakistan was headed in the right direction.
Emphasising the importance of rule of law, he said Pakistan was at a critical juncture in its history when it was confronting those "political mafias" who were trying for the restoration of the status quo.
"You go to the developed world, such as Germany and the UK, and you will find out that there is no one above law there," he said, and added, "There is no privileged class there."
Speaking about other measures taken by the government for the poor, the prime minister said even developed countries in the world were not providing universal health coverage to its citizens but Pakistan was heading in that direction.
The premier said all citizens of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have health insurance which allows them to get themselves treated for Rs1mn free of charge.
"Punjab, the largest province in the country, has taken up the challenge to provide all of its citizens by the health insurance card by the end of this year" he said.
Earlier, speaking about the LDA Naya Pakistan Apartments, Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar said that the government was planning to build more than 35,000 apartments in Lahore for the poor.
He lamented that no one in the past had given due attention to the issue. "The government is committed to the welfare of the people and development of the country," he concluded.