ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday said it was his prime goal to make Pakistan a great nation by making the corrupt and powerful mafia accountable before law.
The prime minister said in a live telephonic call session with the general public. This was the third such interactive session titled ‘Aap ka Wazir-e-Azam, Aap ke Sath’, where the prime minister took live phone calls and responded to the public questions.
The prime minister said his government did not interfere with the working of judiciary and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as it wanted the rule of law in its true spirit.
On accountability of his party leader Jahangir Tareen, he dismissed the impression that any injustice or victimization was made. He pledged that those. who were involved in the price hike of sugar, would be punished.
He mentioned that the sugar mafia by one rupee (per kilogram) price increase extorted Rs 5 billion from the pockets of masses.
“The sugar industrialists paid Rs 22 billion as tax in five years but got Rs 29 billion on account of subsidy. There will be no concession with any mafia,” he added.
“I am answerable to Almighty Allah. How can I put the poor in jails and set the powerful free?” he asked.
Imran Khan said cartels and monopoly as witnessed in the case of sugar mills resulted in inflation. The appointment of Shaukat Tarin as finance minister aimed at controlling inflation and increasing the growth rate, he added.
On petroleum prices, he said the government had kept the price of commodity lower as compared to India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, China, United States, Turkey, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Bhutan so as to avoid burden on consumers.
Housing sector and city master plans
Imran Khan said incentives in the housing sector had encouraged economic activity and the banks were offering loans for the construction of houses. He acknowledged the role of courts in the passage of foreclosure law of banks, which, he said, had greatly helped in materialization of the low-cost housing project.
Imran Khan said lack of planning and civic infrastructure had led to improper expansion of metropolitan cities. Dams were being constructed to overcome water scarcity, he said, adding a special arrangement for water supply to Islamabad was in progress.
Border markets with Iran & Afghanistan
Imran Khan said smuggling was a big problem at the borders with Iran and Afghanistan. The smuggling of Iranian petrol, that was earlier causing huge financial loss, had been completely stopped at the border, he added.
He said the establishment of markets at both borders would encourage the traders to involve in economic activity and refrain from smuggling.
Responding to a caller, who complained to the prime minister of leaving Karachi at the mercy of provincial government, Imran Khan said following the 18th Constitutional Amendment, around 57 percent of resources were directly going to the provinces.
The Federal Government, however, was ready to provide assistance to the province, he said and announced that a Sindh package had been prepared for its development.