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Joint Session of the Parliament held amid Opposition’s ruckus

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Joint Opposition created a ruckus in the Joint Session of the Parliament held in Islamabad on Monday to mark the fourth Parliamentary Year of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

Following the recitation of the Holy Quran and Naat, as soon as President Dr. Arif Alvi began his Speech at the Joint Session, the members of the opposition benches began raising anti-government slogans to disrupt his address.

In the meantime, the treasury members applauded his speech by thumping desks.

In his address, the president said that the PTI government has secured achievements on various fronts especially economy, social and human development and foreign policy to take the Country towards a prosperous and shining future.

The president said that despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Country’s economy has been put on a positive trajectory. He expressed satisfaction that the economic growth remained 3.94 percent during the last Financial Year 2020-21.

The president said that Pakistan’s exports touched the figure of US$ 25.3 billion and remittances US$ 19.4 billion during the last financial year. He said that the remittances witnessed an increase of 10 percent during the first two months of the current Fiscal Year 2021-22.

President Arif Ali said that the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) has broken all previous records and emerged as the world’s fourth best-performing market. He said that according to a survey of overseas investors, chamber of commerce and industry, the Business Confidence Index of Pakistan improved by a massive 60 percent.

The president said that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) collection reached Rs 4,732 billion during the last fiscal year and during the first two months of the current financial year additional Rs 160 billion were collected. He said that this enhancement in remittances and revenue collection shows the confidence of the masses on the policies of the government.

The president was also appreciative of the steps taken by the government to meet the action plan of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Dr. Arif Alvi said that the government also gave a comprehensive package to the construction industry in order to uplift the weak segments of society. He mentioned that people are being provided easy loans to build their own Houses.  He said that these achievements on the economic front are a reality which the opposition will have to accept.

President Arif Alvi said that the agriculture sector witnessed a growth of 2.7 percent while exports in the IT sector touch the mark of US$ 2.12 billion. He said that various programmes have been launched to provide skill training to youth. He said that 1.7 million youth has so far been provided vocational training in this regard.

The president said that the government has been implementing a number of social security initiatives under the Ehsaas programme for the social-economic development of people. He said that Rs 208 billion have been allocated for this programme that will benefit about 30 percent of the population. He said that Ehsaas Nashonuma, Waseela Taleem, Ehsaas Kafalat, Ehsaas Scholarship, Emergency Cash, Langarkhana and Koi Bhooka Na Soye programmes would significantly contribute to social-economic development across the Country.

The president said that the youth are being provided easy loans for starting their own business. He said that Rs 100 billion have been earmarked for this programme and Rs 15 billion have so far been distributed among the eligible candidates.

Dr Arif Alvi said that Pakistan is heading towards Universal Health Coverage under the government’s Sehat Sahulat Program. He said that 18 million families are currently benefiting from this programme and hopefully the health card scheme will soon reach every corner of the country. He underlined the need for giving special importance to telemedicine as it would decrease the burden on hospitals.

The president also emphasised on family planning and breastfeeding so that the health of the child and mother can be protected. He said also urged media and Ulema to play their role in creating awareness in this regard. He also called upon the government to increase funding for this purpose.

Talking about the education sector, Dr. Arif Alvi said that the government has introduced a Single National Curriculum (NSC) and announced massive scholarships for students to promote education in the Country. He said that the uniform syllabus is a step towards building a united nation.

The president said that differently able people have been exempted from tuition and hostel fees by the Higher Education Commission (HEC), enabling them to become a vibrant and productive segment of the society. He said that the government has paid special focus on safeguarding the rights of differently able people and women.

Regarding the protection of women rights, the president said the government has not only made effective legislation but also took administrative measures to prevent incidents of sexual harassment against women and children. He appreciated the government for undertaking legislation to protect women’s hereditary rights.

On Climate Change, Dr. Arif Alvi said the government launched 10 million trees Tsunami and Clean Green Pakistan to mitigate negative impacts of environmental degradation.

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