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PM Khan inaugurates Pakistan’s newest airline AirSial

He announced five packages for Sialkot

SAMAA | - Posted: Dec 9, 2020 | Last Updated: 6 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Dec 9, 2020 | Last Updated: 6 months ago

Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated Pakistan's newest private airline, AirSial, in Sialkot today [Wednesday].

Addressing supporters at the inauguration ceremony of the airline, the premier lauded the businessmen for their hard work behind its launch.

“This is a very important step for the airline industry in Pakistan.”

AirSial will create competition in the market, especially for PIA. “When PIA competes with another efficient and low-cost private airline, the overall efficiency of the airline industry will increase,” he said.

AirSial will start with 16 flights between Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Sialkot and Peshawar before expanding operations. It hopes to go international in two years.

It is a project of members of the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It was conceived in 2015 after Sialkot’s business community constructed the city’s airport on its own. That makes it the country’s first and only privately owned airport.

PM Khan pointed out that ever since the PTI government first took office, its goal has been to fuel industrialisation in the country. “We want to encourage the business community and create incentives for them so that investments in the country increase.”

The primary reason behind all these plans is simple: to eliminate poverty from the country, the PM said. “We want to develop areas such as Gilgit-Baltistan, FATA and Balochistan that were previously ignored.”

The prime minister emphasised that development should always be inclusive, citing the example of the Ehsaas Programme.

Look at China today, he said. Over the years, the country has been successful in pulling most of its population out of poverty, he said. “CPEC, too, is a step to develop western China.”

Pakistan will follow the same model followed by the neighbouring country, which is focusing on exports. “We are industrialising Sialkot as it will increase the foreign exchange reserves of the country,” the prime minister said.

He explained that the country faces a recurring problem: when the foreign exchange reserves increase, the current account goes into a deficit, which devalues money and leads to inflation. “We can only prevent this by increasing our exports.”

The premier said another goal the government had was to increase small and medium industries. A major chunk of Pakistan’s population is made up of young people and it is important to create jobs for them. “From today, the Prime Minister’s Office along with Hammad Azhar will ensure that all the hurdles in the development of these industries are removed,” he vowed.

PM Khan revealed that a state-of-the-art university is on the cards for Sialkot where subjects such as technology, business and engineering will be taught.

“By April, our government is planning to introduce a local government system across the country where city governments will be elected by the residents themselves,” he added. This way people will be able to choose their mayor themselves.

He said that the PTI government will establish industrial hubs in the city. A labourers colony will be established in the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme.

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