1st 100 Days of PTI government

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Though 100 days are not enough to judge the per­formance of any govern­ment but it certainly gives a glimpse of the vision and intentions of the government. Same can be said regarding the current gov­ernment of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI). We can see struggles to make some substantive changes and achieve­ments. On completion of 100 days of the government a performance report has been unveiled during a ceremony.

On the occasion Prime Minister Imran khan said,” “In Madina, Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be upon Him) adopted policies that were based on compassion; all policies were made for the poor, “The tax system of Zakat was established where money was collected from the rich and redistributed to the downtrodden”.

The report started by mentioning the pertaining to the federal government in the First 100 Days Agenda unveiled by Imran Khan on May 20th this year. It was also mentioned that the purpose of this report is merely to inform the government and not to run pro government propaganda. The 5 shifts point were mentioned in the start which said to define government’s first 100 days.

Those shifting points were defined as:

Focusing on the poor…

It was mentioned in the report under this particular point that, the agriculture emer­gency, the focus on stunting, the spotlight on shelters for the homeless, the initiation of a poverty alleviation programme, and the expansion of the Sehat Insaf Cards, all were few of the initiatives in order to avert poverty.

Changing the culture of government…

Under this particular point a culture of change has been introduced by PM Imran Khan. It included working seven days a week, engaging the cabinet, solving prob­lems through participatory government, establishing thoughtful austerity as a signal of intent and, of course, ending the culture of corruption and establishing the rule of law are principles

Strengthening the Federation…

This can said to be an evident point. The PTI government is a government with significant representation from each of the four federat­ing units with a significant sense of alienation in the smaller provinces, and is paradigm shift. The work done on the FATA merger and the announcement of the establishment of South Punjab secretariats, were also few of the initiatives. Engagement with Baluch Nationalists and the announcement of a task force to work with the Government of Sindh on a Karachi plan were also included in the list

Re-building Pakistan’s international cred­ibility…

The government has taken it as its respon­sibility to rebuild the credibility of Pakistan. This is a major shift from a five-year term where for the majority of time, there was no political leadership. Within a short space of time, engagement with key allies, including Saudi Arabia, China, the UAE and Malaysia, have established the intent of this government to the international community and strengthened our most important rela­tionships.

Setting a direction for progress…

A direction has been set on each of the 34 initiatives, and significant work has also been done in several areas. Under the 6 particular themes including transform gov­ernance, strengthen the federation, revitalise economic growth, uplift agriculture and conserve water, revolutionise social services and ensure Pakistan’s National security, 35 commitments were under consideration out of which 34 have been spearheaded by the federal Government. Further in the perfor­mance report under these 34 initiatives 34 deliverables were engrossed, out of which 18 have been completed. These 18 deliverables included

  • Establishment of Asset Recovery Unit and Trace Unlawful Wealth
  • Drafting of Local Government Act of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and ICT
  • Legal Reforms to Revolutionalise Access to Justice
  • FBR Reform Roadmap
  • Naya Pakistan Housing Programme
  • Framework to establish National Tourism Board
  • Economic Support Package for Revival of Manufacturing Sector
  • National Financial Inclusion Strategy Implementation Plan
  • NAB Reform
  • Reform Civil Service
  • Integration of FATA with Khyber Pakh­tunkhwa
  • Balochistan Reconciliation Drive
  • Roadmap for Creation of South Punjab province
  • Karachi Transformation Plan
  • Poverty Alleviation Strategy
  • National Job Creation Strategy
  • Federal TVET/Skills Building Strategy
  • Austerity Drive
  • Launch of Citizens Portal
  • Action against Qabza Mafia
  • Ease of Doing Business Strategy
  • National Agriculture Emergency Pro­gramme
  • Implement National Water Policy
  • Education Blueprint (ICT only)
  • Health Blueprint (ICT only)
  • Clean Drinking Water Plan (ICT only)
  • Social Protection Programme
  • Action Plan for Women and Girls in the Justice System
  • Launch of 10 Billion Tree Tsunami
  • Increase in Pakistan’s Regional and Global Relevance

Government has traced over USD 5.3 billion of unlawful wealth of Pakistan hidden overseas and also signed and rati­fied bilateral treaty with Switzerland for the exchange of financial information. The pro­cess of bilateral treaties on extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance with UK, UAE, and China has been started as well. The Prime Minister’s task force (including provincial representation) engaged in several rounds of discussions and deliberations to finalise blueprints for local governments in Punjab, KP, and ICT. The taskforce was guided by a few important principles in order to ensure real devolution at the grass-roots level.When it comes to the reforms of the justice system, the Law Ministry is ready to launch draft legislation including the following proposed bills:

  • The Civil Procedure Code (Amendment) Bill, 2018 – to combat delays in civil litigation
  • Legal Aid and Justice Authority Bill, 2018 – to ensure access to justice through legal and
  • Financial assistance for the underprivi­leged
  • Mutual Legal Assistance Bill, 2018 – to assist with recovery of unlawful wealth held abroad
  • Enforcement of Women’s Property Rights Bill, 2018
  • Service Tribunals (Amendment) Bill, 2018 – to streamline resolution of service related disputes
  • Letters of Administration and Succes­sion Certificates Bill, 2018 – authorising NADRA
  • Directly issue succession certificates as opposed to a lengthy legal process
  • Whistleblower Protection and Vigilance Commission Bill – to establish a mecha­nism for the public to report corruption.

Economic Support Package for Revival of Manufacturing Sector has also been introduced. The imperative feature of this package included, Reduction of gas price to $6.50/mmbtu for five key export sectors (textile, sports goods, leather, carpets, and surgical goods), subsidisation of electricity price for industrial sector by Rs. 3 per unit as well as Reduction of power tariff for five zero-rated export sectors to 7.5 cents per KwH to ensure international competi­tiveness. Launch of Prime Minister’s Hous­ing Programme to build 5 million housing units for the middle class and lower income segments in 5 years through the private sector also shows the commitment of the government to facilitate the masses. It is clearly mentioned in the report that Prime Minister personally spearheads the government’s commitment to harness the untapped potential of Pakistan’s tourism industry. As chair of the task force on tourism, the Prime Minister has approved a national framework to improve coordina­tion between the provinces and the federal government to uplift the tourism sector with private sector participation and sup­port. FBR has developed a comprehensive reform programme.

The programme has been approved by the Prime Minister and implementation has begun. Crackdown on offshore and high net-worth tax avoidance underway (3000+ notices issued + 20,000 high net-worth non filers identified); data of 150,000 foreign accounts maintained by resident Pakistani’s successfully gathered from 29 countries; Speedy resolution of pending litigation and audits begun; Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism activated; Collection of pending arrears and improved audit targeting underway; Sector-specific studies being conducted to enhance FBR’s capacity for forensic audits. Government has build the Council of Business Leaders chaired by the PM to improve doing business in Pakistan, to at­tract investment, encourage participation of overseas Pakistanis, and grow exports by bringing the country within the top 100 in doing business rankings in 5 years. The National Financial Inclusion Strategy has been launched while substantial progress has been made in terms of account owner­ship; usage in these accounts has remained low. Likewise, while the availability of credit to agriculture sector has improved, credit to SMEs and housing has remained stagnant.

The Government has launched the agriculture policy to increase farmer profitability; reduce taxes on diesel; in­troduced a regenerative agriculture and weed management and encouraged a change in crop-mix; and optimise subsidy programme along with other initiatives. Government has taken immediate steps to expedite construction of Diamer-Bhasha dam, by the year 2028 as well as Kick-off the preparation of the master water plan within each province. When it comes to educational reforms Federal / ICT strategy on Education has been developed and published, outlining federal role on educa­tion, in line with the 18th amendment. A health strategy has also been launched by the Federal Government.

In order to avert poverty, the national poverty alleviation strategy has been initiated across the country. BISP has been retained and improved as the primary social safety net programme for the poor. Women development plan has been launched. Criminal justice reform, protection inheritance rights and launch of women empowerment package were also few of the initiative for protections of women and girls. In order to Enhance Pakistan’s National Security, the govern­ment has initiated new policies rooted in Pakistan’s priorities, including a conflict resolution approach towards improv­ing relations with eastern and western neighbours. Work has been initiated on a blueprint towards resolving the Kashmir issue within the parameters of UNSC resolutions. In order to improve Pakistan’s relevance, regionally and globally, both at the bilateral and multilateral levels includ­ing moves to expand the existing strategic partnership with China, as well as with our other allies in the region, several steps has been taken.

According to the report 16 deliverables are in progress though immense work has been done. They included,

  • NAB reform
  • Civil service reform·Integration of FATA wi
  • Balochistan Reconciliation Drive
  • Roadmap for Creation of South Punjab province
  • Karachi Transformation Plan
  • National Job Creation Strategy
  • Federal TVET/Skills Building Strategy
  • Transformation of State-Owned En­terprises
  • Pakistan’s Energy Plan
  • Revised CPEC Strategy
  • Upgradition and Expansion of Institu­tional Structure of the Foreign Office
  • Trade roadmap
  • Finalisation of Institutional Structure for Internal Security
  • Revised Action Plan on enhancing Internal Security

 

Apart from what has been done or what all is in progress, the government is com­mitted to ease the citizens of Pakistan. No doubt there is a lot to attain but the clear vision and pragmatic approach will make every uphill task possible enough.

Published in Melange Intl. Magazine in January 2019.

About Amna Malik 33 Articles
Author is the President, Center of Pakistan and International Relations (COPAIR) and Editor-in-Chief of ‘Mélange int’l Magazine’ and ‘ The Asian Telegraph’.

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