Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday lauded Chinese government for extending all-out support to Pakistan during challenging economic times and expressed resolve to steer the country out of crisis.
“China is fully supporting Pakistan and $1 billion have been received from China,” the premier said while addressing the PM’s National Innovation Awards ceremony here on Monday.
In a major boost to the forex reserves, China announced refinancing $1 billion loan in Pakistan, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) confirmed late on Friday.
The news of the refinancing came after Finance Minister Ishaq Dar informed the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue on Friday that China would be refinancing the $1 billion loan it had given to Pakistan earlier.
“$1 billion will come from China today or on Monday,” Dar had told the lawmakers. He also said that talks are ongoing with the Bank of China for a loan of $300 million. He added that Pakistan would also receive dollars under China’s swap agreement.
Speaking at the ceremony earlier today, the prime minister also praised Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE for helping Pakistan in the challenging times.
PM Shehbaz emphasised the need for getting rid of foreign loans saying the friendly countries also urged Pakistan to use foreign loans efficiently to fully utilise the potential of natural resources.
The prime minister said Pakistan has been “blessed” with natural resources and it has capacity to become self-sufficient.
“We will come out of the economic and financial challenges,” the premier said.
He also proposed non-partisan agenda to lift the country out of crisis saying that all stakeholders including opposition parties needed to agree on the economic and foreign policy agenda to ensure continuation of the policies.
In the past, he said as Khadim-e-Punjab, he introduced the Punjab Skills Development Company initiative which was first launched in the southern Punjab.
He said that millions of rupees were spent not on brick and mortar type of structures, but training was imparted to the talented youth.
They gave away Rs10,000 per student and companies trained them, he added. Further elaborating his point of view, the prime minister said governments always played a catalyst role to spur activities for industries and agriculture.
Whereas thousands of laptops were given to the high achievers in the Punjab province on pure merit, the same were also distributed in Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir, he added.
The prime minister said during the Covid pandemic, those laptops helped the students to continue their educational activities, besides providing them with self-employment opportunities.
He said during the tenure of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, laptops were also distributed by the Federal Government. He said it was his desire to provide laptops to every child of the country.
On the occasion, the prime minister called the ambassador of Azerbaijan on stage and appreciated Azerbaijan leadership for an agreement to supply LNG (liquefied natural gas) to Pakistan.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Youth Affairs Shaza Fatima Khawaja, in her speech, said meetings of the youth with top business ideas would also be arranged with the investors to implement their ideas.
She said Rs 100 billion business loans were dispersed in the last decade while over one million free laptops had been distributed among talented students that proved life-changing for them.
On average, she said, Rs 7 billion per year business loans was distributed in last 10 years while Rs 30 billion in business loans were distributed among the youth in last one year.
Source: Pakistan Today