Narrative of sending govt home buried as PDM is no more: Fawad

By: News Desk      Published: 11:08 PM, 13 Apr, 2021
Narrative of sending govt home buried as PDM is no more: Fawad

Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry has said the opposition's narrative of sending the government home has been buried as the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) is no more.

Briefing the media on a meeting of the federal cabinet on Tuesday, the minister said he predicted that the alliance could not be remained intact as it has no base. He stressed the need for joint efforts to cope with the challenges being faced by the country, saying that the opposition should cooperate with the government for institutional reform while reformation of the judicial system will be in the next phase.

Digitalisation of cabinet

The minister said the digitalisation process of the cabinet had been completed that will save Rs510 million per annum. From next week, the cabinet members would get tablets and the agenda would be shared. He made a request to the National Assembly speaker and Senate chairman for expediting the work on paperless proceedings at the earliest.

Covid combat  

About Covid-19 situation, the cabinet was told that the third coronavirus phase was more dangerous as critical patients now were 4,200 against 3,200 in the first phase, Fawad said adding that  Sindh and Balochistan were dubbed most affected and the two weeks were crucial. A logistic committee of the cabinet headed by Shipping Minister Ali Zaidi had been constituted, which would present its representations regarding import of the corona vaccine, the minister said.

Central Business District

The cabinet, he said, also gave approval for the establishment of Central Business District in Lahore, Walton Road of 350 acres and Wahdat Colony of 270 acres.  Fawad said succession certificates used to be a big issue for the overseas Pakistanis as they had to come to Pakistan to get the same from courts. Now they would get the succession certificates from the country's embassies through Nadra system, he added.

Mid-term budget

The minister said the cabinet approved the mid-term budget strategy paper. It was informed that exports had reached 18.7 billion dollars mark whereas they stood at 17.4 billion dollars last year. Imports worth 39.5 billion dollars were made the current fiscal year whereas the last year they stood at 34.5 billion dollars, he added. He said remittances had reached $21.5 billion, which was a record and proof of the overseas Pakistanis' trust in the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan. He said the large scale manufacturing had expanded by 7.9 per cent this year. He said currently the economic growth was 3 per cent and it would reach 5.1 per cent by the year 2023-24.

Writ of the government

Replying to media persons’ questions, Fawad said the government could not be dictated by any party or group through agitation. He said there could be talks on the demands, which must be presented in a democratic way. The things were fine if anyone did not try to dictate the government or state and if, otherwise, then there would be chaos in the country, he added.

Dinner with Tareen

Science and Technology Minister has said dinner with Jahangir Tareen is not an issue as he (Tareen) is a key PTI figure and has links with other party leaders. About the cabinet reshuffle, the minister said the process of changes in the cabinet was in its final stage. It was the prime minister’s prerogative under Article 90 of the Constitution to decide, who should be a minister and which ministry be allotted to whom.