FAISALABAD: The provision of clean drinking water is on priority of the government, as it is directly linked to public health and quality of life.
Addressing a public gathering after inaugurating the Assa Singh Park in D-Type Colony, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib said that the recreation space such as parks were also quite important for the people’s health, adding that the government stands committed to improve the quality of life in Faisalabad district.
Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar announced a mega development package of Rs13 billion for Faisalabad, under which roads would be repaired and expanded, while the development projects would be initiated to facilitate the masses, he said.
Habib said that the Punjab government has earmarked Rs20 billion for the provision of clean drinking water, while projects worth Rs10 billion would be completed under JICA.
Each union council will have a filtration plant soon and the people could get potable water at their doorstep, he said, adding that the Allama Iqbal Industrial Estate has also been making good progress and it will not only attract local and foreign investment but also provide jobs to millions of people.
The government has decided to augment facilities at all the basic health units and public sector dispensaries so that the health facilities could be provided to the people of far-flung rural areas also, the state minister said.
He appreciated the efforts of Prime Minister Imran Khan who launched the Naya Pakistan Housing project for the low-income groups, saying that under this project, Rs60 billion loans had already been approved.
The applicants will become owners of houses by paying only the rental amount they were paying, he said, adding that after Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the Punjab government has also launched Sehat Insaf Cards, which would be provided to the entire population of the province by the year-end.
The card holder family could get quality health facilities worth up to Rs1 million during a year from the doctor or hospital of their own choice.
He urged the Sindh government to follow this public-friendly initiative. However, Habib said that the Sindh government has failed to launch any development project, adding that all the major development projects being implemented in Sindh were initiated by the federal government.
The federal government would also launch a food support programme and introduce ration cards to facilitate the masses through targeted subsidies.
The opposition looted and plundered public wealth to purchase costly flats in London, whereas the focus of Prime Minister Imran Khan is to provide houses to the poor people of Pakistan.
The government also introduced Kissan Cards to help the small farmers and weed out rural poverty in addition to making Pakistan self-reliant in the food sector.
“We are providing urea to the farmers at Rs1,800/bag. Our strategy is to encourage local production, instead of importing the commodity.”
He said the previous governments turned Faisalabad into “a graveyard ” of textiles but the present government has revived it and exports are gradually increasing with each passing day.
The present government’s focus is to enhance exports and foreign remittances so that the country could become self-reliant.
Earlier, the state minister held a meeting with the leaders of small traders at the Circuit House and highlighted that the government took immediate steps during the coronavirus pandemic and provided the much-needed relief to the traders.
He assured that he will arrange a meeting of the traders with Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman so that their problems could be resolved on a top priority basis.
About the property tax, Habib said that it is a provincial matter but he will play his role to reduce its rate to the minimum possible.
He also assured to mitigate the problems of the business community and said that their political opponents should know that they have lost people’s confidence.
Earlier, the leaders of the trade organisations announced to withdraw their protest rally on October 26 and assured to cooperate with the government, as it was trying its best to resolve their issues.
Mian Shafiq Anjum, Zafar Iqbal and other trade leaders were present during the meeting.