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18th Amendment turned Centre into a pauper

Top Story

March 31, 2019

Highlights

  • PM Imran Khan has said "after the 18th Amendment, the federation has become bankrupt.
  • Imran said out of Rs 4.5 billion collected by the centre every year in taxes, Rs 2,500 billion are transferred directly to the provinces including Sindh

SUKKUR: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said "after the 18th Amendment, the federation has become bankrupt. He said at the start of every fiscal year the centre has to face fiscal shortfall to the tune of Rs 600 billion due to debt servicing, federal transfers to the provinces, and defence budget that leaves nothing for development." He said he is a democratic leader not king to distribute handouts.

Addressing a rally at Khangarh in Ghotki on Saturday, he said out of Rs 4.5 billion collected by the centre every year in taxes, Rs 2,500 billion are transferred directly to the provinces including Sindh. " He said Rs234 billion were given to Sindh in the last ten years as gas royalty but "how much of that was spent on Ghotki as almost 70% of the gas comes from Ghotki."

Addressing the PPP and PML-N leadership, the prime minister said "I challenge you Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif to do whatever you want, join hands if you may, we still will not leave you. We will only leave you if you return the nation's money.” 

He said money from corruption goes into fake bank accounts that is then laundered out of the country." He said "today a drama is being staged that the democracy is under threat because accountability is being carried out." Lashing out at the PPP, PM Imran said,"a train march was launched to hide corruption worth of Rs 200 billions of rupees. 

Imran said he is offering them to come to the D-Chowk of Islamabad for a sit in, we will even provide container as well as food as well. He said, "Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad visited Pakistan on my invitation. The Malaysian premier strengthened institutions and brought happiness to his people." "Nations aren't poor but corruption makes them poor and indebted," he continued.

Meanwhile at Karachi, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced a special package of Rs 162 billion for development and progress of city while saying the development of entire Pakistan depends upon the development of the city. This was Imran’s third visit to Karachi since becoming the chief executive of the country last year.

He chaired a meeting of the Karachi Transformation Committee (KTC) held at the Sindh Governor House. During the meeting, he said a total of 18 development projects would be completed in Karachi under the Rs 162 billion federal government package. 

He said either his government would fully spend its own resources to build these projects or get them completed under the Public-Private Partnership scheme or the BOOT (build-operate-own-transfer) regime (in collaboration with the private sector).

The PM said the development of Karachi is primarily the obligation of the Sindh government but unfortunately this task remained unfulfilled as the ruling party brazenly ignored the city's development. 

 The PM said 10 out of the 18 new development projects belong to the public transport sector, which is a major civic issue of Karachi. He said seven projects are related to provision of water and sewerage-related services, which is even a greater issue of Karachi.

Imran said water conservation campaign should be launched to make additional water available for the city before completion of the K-IV project for bringing more water to Karachi from outside the city due to obvious complications in the way of its completion. 

He lamented that Karachi has never witnessed any public awareness campaign to motivate the people to conserve water despite that the city is facing major shortfall of water supply. Khan said a new master plan for the city has to be prepared and before completion of this plan, certain interim decisions have to be taken for proper development of the city and one such desired decision should be to ban further expansion of the city till the time all its slums were developed.

The prime minister said only vertical development of the city would be allowed under its master plan except the notified areas around airports where the high-rise buildings could not be constructed. 

He said the construction of high-rise buildings would spare maximum space in Karachi for greenery. Besides Karachi, he said the government would fund the construction and functioning of a public sector university in Hyderabad and very soon groundbreaking of this project would be performed. The prime minister also inaugurated Lahore to Karachi non stop train and sought the help of China in developing the railways.

Later, the Prime Minister, Imran Khan, performed the inauguration of the Bagh Ibn-e-Qasim in Clifton after completion of the project. He said the conservation and development of parks, green areas, and playgrounds in the city has become compulsory for countering the harmful effects of environmental degradation and harsh weather. He lamented that a number of parks and playgrounds in the city have decreased over a period of last several years.

The PM said that he had asked his Advisor on Climate Malik Amin Aslam to work with the Sindh government and the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation to promote greenery in the city under the drive of his government to plant 10 billion trees in the country. He said greenery has to be promoted to mitigate the adverse effects of environmental pollution.

The PM praised the services of Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhtar for carrying out the much-needed project of renovation of such a large park in the city.

Earlier, addressing the Prime Minister’s rally at Ghotki, the Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, only PTI has the ability to take the country out of present challenges. He said he joined the party nine years ago to struggle alongside Imran Khan to bring about a Naya Pakistan.

Qureshi said that people of Sindh should decide whether they want to embark on a new path adding that the winds of change started from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have entered Punjab. Those who were the symbol of the federation no longer exist in KP, Punjab, Balochistan or Karachi, he added. He said the PPP will not be seen in Karachi now it has shrunk and is limited to interior Sindh and the people of the province know the reason why, he said.

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