Govt to offer public-private partnership to foreign investors: Firdous

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan said on Saturday the government had decided not to sell national assets but offer public-private partnership to foreign investors. Talking to a group of senior columnists here at the Governor's House, she said the government would preserve the national assets and generate revenue through public-private partnership, adding that investors would invest, pay and earn as per the international practices. “International practices will be followed in the bidding process for the public-private partnership to the investors", she assured, adding the government was in the process of inviting international bidders.

The SAPM said under the two-pronged policy, tourism would be promoted for revenue generation, besides offering national assets for public-private partnership. She said the previous regimes had badly failed to promote the soft image of the country, only one face of the country smeared with terrorism was depicted by the foreign media in the past. She said, tourism was being promoted to show moderate and enlightened face of Pakistan to the world. Dr Firdous said, tourism policy would shortly be announced in collaboration with other provinces, adding the tourist would bring new foreign investment.

Briefing the columnists on the economy, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said the government was faced with bankruptcy when it assumed power as the PML-N government had left foreign reserves for mere two weeks due to its poor economic policies. She said that political regimes got loans to meet their political manifestos and left the incumbent governments under huge debts to settle. She disclosed, the plans to formulate Terms of Reference (ToRs) on getting foreign loans and pay back by the same government so that the successive governments do not have to bear the brunt of the economic burden.

Firdous said Prime Minister Imran Khan wanted to introduce reforms in all institutions, and restructuring of the FBR was being done to prune 5 per cent of the black sheep, adding the best way was to introduce automation in the department. She said technology based mechanism had been introduced by the FBR. She said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan believed in austerity, adding the austerity drive was led by prime minister himself when he refused to live in the Prime Minister's house. Dr Firdous said the prime minister did not declare any camp office for himself while the past rulers declared five camp office with a burden of billions of rupees on national economy.

About the government's plans towards wealth creation, she said industrialization was the main focus of the government besides luring back industrialists as many had fled the country due to poor policies of the previous governments, 100 industries were closed down during the previous government while the GDP was imports based which was no good for the country. She said the government wanted to increase exports while one window operation started under the ease of business to facilitate the industry and foreign investors. She said 27 inspectors of different departments monitored and regulated the industry in the past, adding the PTI government had created an inspector-less regime for the industry as no inspector would visit any factory to harass businesses.

Dr Firdous said the government was engaging with Bangladesh and Malaysia to learn from their experiences in achieving such high growth rates in industry. She assured full government support to those who wanted to start new industry or reopen their industrial zones. About Prime Minister Imran Khan's China visit, she said China was endorsed Pakistan's stance on Kashmir, adding China is going to extend CPEC 2 and had reposed confidence in the policies of the government. On Maulana Fazlur Rehman's Azadi March and sit-in, she said the Kashmiris and the world observed 27th October as Black Day across the world while Fazlur Rehman chose the day for his march against the government, adding the government was looking into the motives behind this protest call.

She said Fazlur Reham's protest call without cause, adding Allama Tahirul Qadri staged a sit-in to raise voice against the Model Killings by the Shehbaz Sharif government while Tehreek-e-Labaik was protesting to safeguard Namoos-e-Risalat. Dr Firdous said call of Fazlur Rehman was a motiveless, adding he was protesting to ensure the release of those who had been nabbed by the NAB. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister said the government had nothing to do with the arrests made by NAB, adding Nawaz Sharif was facing the courts for his failure to account for his untenable accounts while cases against Asif Ali Zardari were instituted by former Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan. About the protesters, she said the law would take its course if the protestors tried to take law into hand, adding provincial governments were free to maintain law and order.

About the sacking of journalists and media workers, she said the government had taken up the issue with private media houses, adding the private media houses were beyond government control in hiring and firing of their staffers. To a query, she said the government would not relent on the law-breakers and the corrupt, adding it had nothing to do with the NAB or ANF as the institutions were autonomous. To another query, Dr Firdous said Prime Minsiter Imran Khan was the protector of Namoos e Risalat and sang praises of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.A.W) before the whole world during the UNGA session. To a question, she said the government had to take hard economic decisions to take the country out of economic quagmire, adding the government had taken loans from friendly countries on easy terms.

Source: Brecorder