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Prime Minister Imran Khan has sought a comprehensive plan regarding the proposed lease of Pakistan Steel Mills after he was informed that Russian and Chinese companies are interested in acquiring the PSM on lease. While chairing the meeting of the government's economic team, the Prime Minister was briefed on the proposed lease plan of PSM and the interest shown by the Russian and Chinese companies in this regard. He directed the concerned ministry to come up with a comprehensive plan regarding the proposed lease of Pakistan Steel Mills at a separate meeting at the earliest.

The meeting was briefed on the results of measures taken by the present government for sustainable growth and economic consolidation, increased productivity, and ease of doing business while removing hindrances in the way of investment as well as protection to the existing and prospective investors.

The meeting also discussed poverty alleviation, infrastructure and communication development, revitalizing and mobilizing the dead investment, disaster management and improved coordination among the concerned ministries and divisions for smooth and timely implementation of the projects.

The Prime Minister said that industrial development is vital for economic growth and job creation. Focus must be laid on those projects that yield high productivity while removing the hindrances in the way simultaneously, he further added.

The Prime Minister observed that without giving protection to the business community, economy cannot flourish. "We must raise confidence of the business community for increased investment in all the sectors," he said.

Prime Minister Khan wanted the inclusion of all the poor strata of society under the Ehsaas program including the chronically poor, extremely poor and marginalized poor segments of the society.

The meeting emphasized that women should be given incentives and facilitation for their contribution in the socio-economic development.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information & Broadcasting, while citing the Malaysian Model of growth, said that empowerment of women and facilitation would contribute significantly towards socio-economic growth of Pakistan.

The chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) briefed the meeting on proposals regarding communication and infrastructure development, mobilization of dead investment for reaping investment benefits in the short-term. The chairman also proposed the creation of Disaster Risk Financing in the wake of frequent natural disasters and shortage of funds earmarked currently to respond in case of any eventuality.

The meeting was also briefed on the investment in the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and construction sector.

Those who attended the meeting included Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar, Minister for Planning Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister for Power Omar Ayub Khan, Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood, Adviser to PM Dr Ishrat Hussain, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Dr Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Nadeem Babar, SAPM Yousaf Baig Mirza, Chairman BOI Syed Zubair Haider Gillani, Shaukat Tareen, Chairman NDMA Lieutenant General Muhammad Afzal and other senior officials of the government.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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