PM Shehbaz Highlights 100 Days Achievements of His Government

PM Shehbaz Highlights 100 Days Achievements of His Government

Islamabad, June 15, 2024 – Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, in a televised address on Saturday, outlined the achievements of his administration during its first 100 days, while also detailing a comprehensive five-year agenda focused on economic stability and public welfare.

The prime minister underscored his government’s commitment to eradicating corruption, broadening the tax base, and dismantling bureaucratic hurdles to realize the vision of Quaid’s Pakistan.

In his maiden address to the nation, PM Shehbaz emphasized that the government’s judicious economic policies had significantly reduced inflation from 38 percent to 12 percent and brought down the interest rate from 22 percent to 20 percent. Additionally, he noted repeated reductions in oil prices, with the latest decrease being Rs10.5 per liter for petrol and Rs2.5 per liter for diesel.

“We have defined the future course of action and we will pursue it with utmost honesty and strictness. We will spend every saved penny on public welfare… We will eliminate red tapism… This journey is not only difficult and long but also demands sacrifice from the government authorities as well as the elite,” he declared.

PM Shehbaz painted a stark picture of the economic landscape when the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) coalition assumed power in April 2022, describing it as being on the brink of default. He lauded the tough decisions made under the leadership of key allied party figures, including Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, which he said saved the country from economic collapse at great political cost.

“Thanks to our performance over the previous 16 months and the first 100 days of the current tenure, Pakistan is gradually emerging from crisis and moving towards stability and development,” he asserted.

Highlighting the challenges ahead, the prime minister acknowledged the public’s expectations for immediate relief. He assured that the government’s pro-people policies would continue to alleviate the hardships caused by inflation and high interest rates, which have already been mitigated.

“With the interest rate now down to 20 percent, the burden of debt interest on the country will be reduced, fostering domestic investment,” he explained. He urged the nation to unite, embrace austerity, and contribute to the country’s development and prosperity.

Addressing corruption, PM Shehbaz cited the Pakistan Public Works Department (PWD) as a notorious example, revealing that 50% of funds allocated to development projects were lost to corruption within this department. He vowed to eliminate ministries and departments that had become hubs of corruption, announcing the formation of a ministerial committee to oversee this initiative.

“In one and a half months, you will witness significant changes,” he promised.

The prime minister also highlighted recent international engagements, including a visit to China that resulted in agreements worth billions of dollars. He noted a commitment from the UAE to invest at least $10 billion in various Pakistani sectors. The government, he said, had developed a comprehensive strategy to actualize this foreign investment through the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), focusing on sectors such as mines and minerals, agriculture, and information technology.

Before attracting foreign investment, however, PM Shehbaz stressed the importance of fostering domestic investment. “We have the best financial experts, businessmen, traders, and industrialists who can drive domestic investment and contribute to the country’s development,” he remarked.

The prime minister outlined ongoing efforts to fully digitize the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) system, which he said would enhance tax collection and curb departmental corruption. He noted a significant 30 percent increase in revenue collection this year, attributing it to sidelining corrupt elements and encouraging efficient and honest officers.

“If we succeed in implementing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program and meet the targets set in the recent budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2024-25, this will be the country’s last IMF program,” he declared. “We will outpace our neighbors in development and economic growth.”

He announced a substantial reduction in electricity tariffs for the industrial sector, expected to provide relief worth over Rs200 billion and reduce manufacturing costs, making Pakistani goods more competitive globally. The business community, he noted, had expressed satisfaction with the federal budget for 2024-25.

PM Shehbaz also vowed to bridge the gap between rich and poor, emphasizing that without addressing this disparity, the country cannot progress. He highlighted the government’s establishment of the Pakistan Endowment Fund, which will provide free education to deserving children and students from remote areas.

The prime minister reaffirmed his commitment to a five-year national development plan, which includes tough decisions aimed at resolving the economic crisis and fostering prosperity. He emphasized the government’s shift away from constructing industries and engaging in business, instead promoting and facilitating the private sector.

Despite acknowledging the presence of elements creating hurdles in the development journey, PM Shehbaz expressed confidence that these obstacles would not succeed this time. He called for national support and guidance in implementing the government’s tough decisions.

In addition to domestic issues, PM Shehbaz condemned Israel’s aggression in Gaza, where over 40,000 Palestinians, including thousands of children, have been martyred. He also urged an end to the atrocities in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir against the innocent Kashmiri people.

The prime minister’s address was a blend of self-congratulatory remarks, stern warnings to corrupt entities, and an appeal for national unity and sacrifice, setting the tone for what promises to be a challenging yet hopeful tenure for his administration.