Saturday, March 29, 2008

PM outlines new policies in revolutionary speech: details

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani has announced revolutionary steps in his policy speech at the floor of National Assembly after getting unanimous vote of confidence from the house on Saturday.

The prime minister in his landmark speech increased the support price of wheat from Rs. 510 to 625 per 40 kilograms. He announced lifting of ban on student and trade unions, while changed the status of PEMRA to make it a subsidiary of the ministry of information.

Muslim League (Q), Functional League, People’s Party Sherpao and Muttahida Qaumi Movement announced to support the prime minister.

The prime minister in his speech thanked Almighty Allah for his election in this holy month.

He also expressed his gratitude to People’s Party’s slain leaders Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto, party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, co-chairman Asif Zardari and the party workers, leaders of allied parties Nawaz Sharif, Asfandyar Wali, Altaf Hussain, Pir Pagara, independent members and other parties that voted to him for confidence.

Prime Minister Gillani promised to take along all sides and work for the best interest of the country.

He vowed to strengthen the institutions and to improve law and order in the country. Talking about his government’s priorities he said terrorism and extremism is the most serious problem faced by the country. He called the militants to shun the path of violence and initiate dialogue with the government.

Price hike and unemployment are other key problems faced by the country, he said. The government would provide jobs to jobless, he said.

The prime minister welcomed the COAS decision of withdrawal of the on duty military officers from the civilian departments adding that it has boosted the prestige of the armed forces.

The Prime Minister announced repealing of the draconian Pemra laws of Nov 3, 2007 adding the Parliamentary Reconciliation Committee recommendations will be introduced.

The prime minister said media would be allowed to witness proceedings of the parliament.

Gillani said he would take along the APDM parties with him adding that all provinces have confidence over his government.

Speaking in the National Assembly after taking vote of confidence, he said maintaining law and order in the country would be the top priority of his government for which terrorism needs to be rooted out.

“We are ready to talk to all those who are ready to lay down their arms and wanted peace,” he said.

He said he would announce a special package for tribal areas to give them employment and to remove their backwardness and other social evils.

The Prime Minister also announced to revoke FCR.

He welcomed the announcement of the Chief of the Army Staff that all army personnel from the civil departments will be called back.

“This announcement by the COAS will enhance the dignity, respect and honour of the army.”

He expressed the hope that all the army personnel from civilian departments will be called back within two weeks.

The Prime Minister said his government will take steps for the restoration of deposed judges. As a first step, these judges have already been freed from detention.

Referring to power, flour and water crises in the country, Prime Minister Gilani said these problems were not easy to tackle. He said there was a possibility of more load shedding in the country during the summer season.

He said to overcome the electricity shortage in the country, which at present stands at 3000 megawatt, new power units will be set up and PEPCO has been asked to issue 10 million energy saver bulbs at discounted prices.

The shortage next year, he added, is expected to reach 4000 MW.

He said in the first phase of Thar Coal Project the electricity generation will be 5,000 mw which will increase to 20,000 mw in the next phase.

He said Wapda has been asked to complete the feasibility of large dams and investment in the project of Keti Bandar will be invited again and lighting on government buildings has been stopped.

To save the wastage of water, he added, canals will be brick lined and small dams constructed to ensure supply of water for irrigation and drinking purposes.

He said the budget of the Prime Minister House will be cut by 40 percent and hoped that other departments too will follow the example.

The cabinet members will not use a vehicle of more than 1600 cc and they will only be allowed Economy Plus class during air travel.

He said like many other democratic countries, during the Question Hour the Prime Minister would also be present in the house to answer questions.

To provide employment to the fresh graduates, Prime Minister announced the setting up of Literacy and Health Commission. It will also ensure employment to one person in a household.

He said a Madrassa Welfare Authority will be set up to carry out the audit of the accounts of all madrassas in the country. The authority will be responsible to ensure that curricula of all madrassas are uniform.

The Prime Minister said that every year one million housing units will be constructed in the country. He also announced the launch of 5-marla housing scheme in rural areas for the poor besides provision of houses on 80 square meters and flats in the cities for the general public.

He said all retiring government servants will be given flats or houses and the provinces have also been directed to launch similar schemes for the retired persons.


Faisal Khan said...

Ameen. Ususally I've been told - when you listen to a prayer at the end say Ameen. Seems like the newly inducted PM's speech is like a prayer call.

Faisal Khan

Anonymous said...

Some wonderful ideas in there...

just one thing that I take strong exceptions to: "ensure that curricula of all madrassas are uniform." Why this obsession with uniform curricula? Are we trying to set up an authorotarian, totalitarian system, where the state dictates what's taught and what's not... Next time, they'll pass an order to ensure that the curiculla in all universities is also the same...

Academic institutions, madrassas or universities, should have the freedom to decide their own curiculla and not have a homogenous state-dictated curiculum...