Islamabad, June 10, 2013 (PPI-OT): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif while chairing the first meeting of the newly formed federal cabinet here on Monday urged the Cabinet Members to set priorities and targets for their respective ministries within two weeks aiming at addressing the current issues the nation is facing.
The Prime Minister in his opening remarks welcomed members of the Cabinet and congratulated them on assuming the charge of their respective offices.
He said that it was a defining moment in our history when we are facing a number of difficult challenges on various socio-economic fronts. We need to put the country’s economy back on track, eradicate poverty, eliminate intolerance, and reduce load shedding, inflation and above all isolation at the international level.
Prime Minister urged all the cabinet colleagues to put an end to the culture of lethargy and reinvigorate all the systems by setting aside personal whims and wishes and concentrating on national interest.
The Prime Minister said that at the moment we have to think of Pakistan and Pakistan alone. In the next five years we can address all the issues but we should set clear cut targets and resolve not to indulge in corrupt practices nor allow corruption by others to prosper. He attributed the current sorry state of affairs to corruption and vowed to eradicate it by all means.
The Prime Minister said the democratic transition of power from an elected government to another elected government was highly praise worthy. He said the people of Pakistan deserve praise for dismissing all rumours regarding the delay in polls and participated in the electoral process with great zeal and fervour. Timely holding of fair and free elections removed all doubts in the minds of certain individuals.
The people have given us an overwhelming mandate and it was God’s will that whoever comes into power should have the backing of majority of the electorate. Governments with fractured mandate cannot solve any problems. Such governments have to compromise on principles and ideologies and the current state of affairs have no room for making such compromises.
The people, he said had seen our performance in the past and had taken a mature decision in electing us with a large mandate. Naturally, the people have high expectations pinned on us. So we have to deliver accordingly. He said that he expected every minister and department to set goals and targets.
There should be a plan of action and targets should be achieved within shortest possible time. Now is the time to give results in order to come up to the expectations of the people of Pakistan. I shall review your performance and I would not like to fail.
He advised the Cabinet members to study the Party’s manifesto and see as to what are the commitments with the people of Pakistan. We have to reduce all non development expenditure by at least thirty percent or even more.
The Prime Minister said that all sectors were experiencing total disaster. What can a farmer produce with tube wells devoid of power? Power looms are shut down due to electricity shortage. The government cannot be a spectator, he remarked.
The circular debt has reached an enormous level of Rs. 503 billion. Even if we retire this debt, there is no guarantee that this will not reappear unless we put in place a comprehensive plan to avert future problems.
Prime Minister, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said we have held a number of meetings from 11th May to 5th June to find a viable solution for ending load shedding. We have to see whether we can set up new plants as thermal power is extremely expensive. We shall try to remove line losses and end pilferage. We shall punish all those responsible for this crisis and causing great discomfort to the people.
The Prime Minister said he was displeased to see institutions like Pakistan Steel Mill, PIA and others incurring huge losses. He added that all possibilities will be explored to turn around public sector organizations including privatization, public-private partnership and appointing competent CEOs.
The Prime Minister said the country was facing issues like extremism, militancy and sectarianism. All efforts would be made to rid the country of these ills, he said.
He went on to say that Pakistan is facing international isolation; international environment is no longer conducive for the country. He said that the Government had already taken due notice of drone attacks and registered its strong protest at appropriate level. The drone attacks were a violation of national sovereignty and will never be tolerated, he emphasised.
The Prime Minister said situation in Balochistan was going to be normal. We could also form a government there but we decided to give a chance to leadership of the Province, he said.
The Prime Minster expressed the hope that with active support of the people of Pakistan and his team, the government will be able to bring prosperity and establish peace in the country.
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