Imran Khan says ‘red-tape’ chokes development of projects
In Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that development projects he introduced have been hampered because of the ‘red-tape’ culture. With an obvious reference to Pakistan’s entrenched bureaucracy, Imran said that red-tapism chokes development projects in Pakistan. Referring to complexities of systems in Pakistan, PM said: unluckily, the government of Pakistan system was hampered with red tape leading to its degeneration. Such hurdles created hold-ups on the way to development. Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony of Quaid-e-Azam Business Park, being developed outside Lahore in Sheikhhypura, PM said his government was busy reforming systems, ending red tapism and in the true sense of the word ensuring ease-of-doing-business for the people.
PM maintained that the system could not be reformed overnight though the process of reformation of state institutions had begun. Sharing his experience with the government system, he said an in-built system existed, which did not let anyone work easily and without hurdles. Imran Khan also said construction of 5.0 million affordable houses for the low-income groups was his government’s flagship program and to expedite it, Naya Pakistan Housing Authority was created, source reported. Furthermore, Imran said during the last few months, he was personally supervising the initiative and regretted that challenges in the system had choked the development pace. There was a battle within the system. For the common man who wanted to start his small business, challenges had been created by an intricate system, which often led to an individual’s discouragement, Imran added. PM said when he was in the United Kingdom during his stay for studies or for cricket, he saw how the common people from Pakistan excelled after setting up their small business there, because the system had facilitated them. He also said for the first time in the Pakistan’s history, his government had given incentives to the construction industry. The prime minister assured that the government will offer all possible facilities to small-and-medium industrial units to grow, adding that the consequences of these strategies might take some time to show, but the right direction had been set.
Furthermore, Imran Khan informed that numerous Chinese firms showed a keen interest in the business park, but he would like to have further simplifications in the procedures. Imran assured that the government would completely facilitate small-and-medium industrial units, businessmen and industrialists with initiatives like ease-of-doing business. The prime minister appreciated the business-friendly steps taken through the Punjab government and said setting up nine economic zones and incentives-laden package by the provincial government were steps in the right direction. He also appreciated Punjab CM Usman Buzdar for the good selection of the business park site between two big cities namely; Faisalabad and Lahore which are the two major hubs of businesses. He termed the setting up of one-window operation at the Quaid-e-Azam Business Park as a step in the right direction to facilitate investors and industrialists. Statistics showed that Quaid-e-Azam Business Park is spread over an area of 1,536 acres, with space for 653 small-and-medium industrial units and located near to Lahore and motorway. About 500,000 people would get jobs from this initiative, the government said and informed that Rs56 billion (Dh1.2 billion) of tax relief will also be provided by the provincial government to counter the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Other initiatives aimed at ensuring ease-of-doing-business include a fund of Rs12 billion, to be provided to young people to start their own businesses. PM Imran Khan has, for the first time, shifted his focus from the provincial civil bureaucracy to public representatives, directing the Punjab CM to communicate closely with members of the national and provincial assemblies and get their feedback about the prevalence of corruption and quality of governance in the province.