Prime Minister Imran Khan thanked the nation for its constant support and helping his government overcome difficult and challenging times.
He spoke to the nation on the occasion of Pakistan’s 74th Independence Day.
I want to congratulate the nation on the way people cooperated with the state to minimise the coronavirus cases, he remarked.
“We had tough decisions to make. On one side, we had the looming threat of the novel coronavirus and then the impact lockdown had on our economy,” he remarked. “We thought our people would die of hunger so we had to do something for them.” We made difficult decisions and now our cases have gone down and the economy is improving. People can only work hard and it is God that rewards them, he added.
There are challenges ahead too as we haven’t defeated the virus. People must be careful about following the SOPs. “You must wear a mask wherever you go. Wearing a mask brings down your risk of catching the virus.”
He remarked that his government has completed its two very difficult years in power. We had to repay our loans, our foreign reserves were depleting, the dollars we had were decreasing and things were becoming more expensive. “We somehow managed to save the country from defaulting,” he added.
“Things have been quite difficult but they are improving now,” he said. Our tax collection has improved and exports are increasing too. “In the near future, I am envisioning an industrial Pakistan which has job opportunities for people,” he said.
The premier also spoke about the construction industry and the role it played in helping build the country’s economy. Forty other industries are dependent on it, he said. This has led to job and wealth creation in the country.
Pakistan did face a problem with its power sector. We were producing electricity at a higher rate than India and Bangladesh and it was affected us. We were taking more loans to meet the competitive rate. It is a simple rule of business if a seller buys something for Rs10 then it can’t be sold for Rs5. We were buying electricity for more than we were selling it for. To solve this problem, the government has signed an agreement with the independent power producers. “We have agreed that the price of power generation should be brought down.”
We are even working on improving our distribution network. A reform package will be presented in the next few days, the PM said.
Towards the end, he said that Pakistan is standing with the people in Indian-Administered Kashmir. We will continue our struggle and pray to God that you get your freedom. “You should have the right to decide your own future.”