Speaking to a group of journalists from various TV channels in a pre-recorded interview, the premier said the decision to drop the value of the currency against the US dollar was taken by the State Bank.
“Please remember, we are trying to make institutions autonomous,” he said. “We have made SBP autonomous, they took the decision because they deem it fit.”
He said the previous PML-N government had left a trade deficit of $19 billion, which increased from a previous deficit of $2.5 billion.
“The PML-N govt had spent $7 billion to maintain the value of rupee,” he said.He lamented that there were better education institutes for elite.
“There is good justice system for elites. The rich can afford good lawyers, they can even get away with robbery; while the poor can’t get justice in time,” he said.
“Likewise for jobs, people from elite institutions get jobs easily. So, we’re bringing reforms, uniform education systems, then Health cards for medical care and legal aid for those who can’t afford.”
To a question, he said that he talked about poultry and livestock and people made fun of him.
“Bill Gates explained the same thing next day and people are taking it to be something highly out of the box. We’re a livestock nation, that’s the best way to alleviate the poverty” he said.“Halal meat trade is worth 2000 bn USD, worldwide. We are a livestock nation. We can make the most of this opportunity area.”
Speaking about a case of alleged abuse of power on by federal minister Azam Swati, Khan said he does not interfere in the matters of institutions to protect anyone.
“We will obey the court orders. Azam Swati will resign if found guilty,” he said.
Khan expressed “regret” over remarks by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar in which the top judge pointed to alleged nepotism on Khan’s part in the appointment of Zulfi Bukhari’s as the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development.
To a question, PM Khan said that the kind of situation we inherited, was unprecedented.
“We’re lucky that we are still getting investments otherwise when your country is in such a deficit, investments naturally become hard. But we are adamant. I’m working harder than I have ever done.”
“For revamping institutions like Railway, PIA, Steel mills etc, we have studied and in process of implementing from 2 models, Singaporean and Malaysian.”Khan said that his administration was not intervening in any institution.
“Interior Ministry is under me, CDA comes under me, yet they are freely issuing reports against my own place in Bani Gala. This is unprecedented.”
He said that Azam Swati would resign if he was found guilty of misuse of powers.
“If Azam Swati’s misuse of power is proved, he will himself resign. JIT is formed by SC and it is independent. I have never intervened in this case although I head the deptt that is investigating Azam Swati.”
“There was a complaint against a Police officer that he misbehaved with Bushra bibi’s daughter. Doesn’t the Chief Executive of a province have the authority to at least summon that officer and ask him about the matter?”
“My own sister’s name is being discussed. Have I ever interfered in the investigations? ,” he questioned.
Khan said that Pakistan’s sad reality was that “we go after the honest businessmen even. That’s why Pakistan has the least ease of business. I have met business community to hear their grievances and ensure we resolve them.”
“We are having one-window operations for ease of doing business. Lack of ease of doing business destroys Small businesses. Every institution asks them for the bribe. So we are reforming that system.”PM Hints Early Election
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday hinted at the early general election in the country.
Responding to a question, the premier maintained that the formation of South Punjab province is a lengthy phase.
“It is quite likely that early general elections are held in the country. Changes in ministries can also occur,” he said.
Prime Minister Khan said the nation would have to decide whether “it wants to let corruption prevail”.
He cited the example of China is ridding itself of corruption. “China is sailing past the US in economy, they have convicted 400 ministers during the past five years,” he noted.
Khan said the major hurdle in his government’s anti-corruption plans are some “old-minded bureaucrats” who are “going slow [and] creating an impression that the government will not be able to run”.
“We have recovered land worth trillions of rupees,” he said. “Mafias are behind real encroachments. We have asked the authorities not to target poor people but the mafias.”
“FBR, FIA and the anti-corruption [watchdog] are working under the government. We have signed agreements on data sharing of each others’ citizens with 26 countries.”
Sharing an “interesting aspect” of the drive, Khan said the UAE and Saudi Arabia had refused to share the data of Pakistani iqama holders saying it was equivalent to sharing their citizenship information. “Now, you’ll know why iqamas were sought secretly,” he remarked.