Govt policies termed as best financial discipline: Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Senator Javed Abbasi on Friday said that the international economy monitors declared country's economy as emerging economy and termed government's policies as best financial discipline.
Participating in a discussion on Finance Bill-2017 at the Parliament, he said, "Instead of resorting to criticism, the opposition should give concrete suggestions on the financial bill 2017-18."
He appreciated Federal Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar for presenting a balanced budget which was being hailed by all segments of society. He said, "Despite several challenges at time when PML-N came into power but due to its strong economic strategy, now the country was on path of economic progress."
Javed Abbasi said, "Overall security and economic situation stands improved in the country as a result of policies of the government. This is the reason that the foreign investors are pouring in with their investments."
He said, "Special attention was paid on energy sector and several mega projects were initiated in this sector. Present Gross Domestic Product (GDP) remained at highest level in ten years. More people were included in tax net with focus on revenue generation. Foreign exchange reserves also increased during tenure of present government."
He said, "The government had paid special attention on promotion of agriculture sector while several incentives had been announced for farmers including agriculture loans for them. There was plan to set up 1000 new stitching units to promote textile industry. The government is working to overcome the load shedding issue by adding 10,000 MW in the system."
He said, "Rs 401 billion had been allocated for energy sector projects in the budget while allocation has been made for Dashu Dam. Rs 35 billion has been allocated for higher education while sufficient allocation has been made for provision of soft drinking water."
Senator Rehman Malik said, "Efforts should be made to increase foreign remittances. The reduction in remittances and exports has resulted in the burgeoning of public debt. The government should cut its borrowings and focus on putting the economy on self-reliance."
He said, "Steps should be taken for promotion of overseas employment while new passport and National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) offices should be set-up in foreign missions to maximum facilitate the overseas Pakistanis. Overseas Pakistanis should be fully facilitated in order to encourage remittances."
He said, "Maximum resources should be diverted towards energy sector in order to provide relief to the people. More allocations should be made for law enforcement agencies while anti-narcotics force should be further strengthened."
Senator Usman Kakar said, "Poor and destitute segment of the society should be given more relief in the budget. Strategy was needed for proper utilization of available resources. Adequate funds should be allocated for less developed areas of the country in the budget to change the life of common man. The budget envisages incentives for elite class and industrialists but it carries nothing for the poor lot. More allocations should be made for education and health sector."
He suggested that, "More funds should be allocated for initiating development projects in Balochistan province. Focus should also be paid on agriculture reforms."
Meanwhile, State Minister for Interior Baligh-ur-Rehman informed the House that, "The new passport office set up at Harnai, has been made operational on May 23, 2017. It was inaugurated by Provincial Minister Abdul Rahim Ziarat Wal. It has been made operational for the last one week and people of the area may get benefit from this facility."
He was responding to a Calling Attention Notice about non-functioning of the Passport Office established in Harnai, District Musakhel which was sponsored by Senators Usman Khan Kakar, Sardar Azam Khan Musakhel and Gul Bashra.
Replying to a calling attention notice of Senator Karim Ahmed Khawaja in the upper house of the parliament, the Minister said, "The government has lifted ban on foreign tourist visa for Gilgit Baltistan. The government has lifted this ban on May 22 this year to encourage tourism industry."
He said, "This ban was imposed in year 1954 due to sensitivity of the area and to ensure security of foreign tourists. He however said that now foreign tourists can visit Gilgit-Baltistan on tourist visa and there is no requirement of any No Objection Certificate (NOC) for them."
He said, "The decision of lifting ban on tourists' visa was made on the request of the Gilgit-Baltistan government. He said that instructions have been passed on to the government of Gilgit-Baltistan for setting up new tourists centres and deploying police for security of foreign tourists."
He said, "The government of Gilgit-Baltistan has assured to set-up tourists centers and ensuring security of foreign tourists, on which the government has lifted the ban." He supported Senator Khawaja for allowing foreign tourists to visit Gilgit-Baltistan. 
Earlier, Senator Karim Ahmed Khawaja on a calling attention notice said that tourism being a leading industry in Gilgit-Baltistan was facing problems due to imposition of ban on foreign tourists to visit Gilgit-Baltistan while getting NOC from the Ministry of Interior.
The Chair did not admit any of three adjournment motions (AMs) appearing on 'Orders of the Day.' One of the AM was disallowed, other termed out of order while the last one was dropped due to absence of relevant mover.
Meanwhile, the Chairman Standing Committee on National Health Services Senator Sajjad Hussain Turi presented report on the National Health Care Bill, 2017. The House also passed a motion to extend presentation period of a report on the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2017 for a further period of 60-working days with effect from June 6, 2017.
Najma Hameed described the budget as pro-poor. She said it is a matter of great satisfaction that no new tax has been levied. She said, "The government has given relief to the farmers by reducing the prices of fertilizers."
Daud Achakzai said, "Ample funds should be allocated to address the problem of shortage of water in Balochistan including Gwadar. Transmission system should be upgraded in order to address the issue of line losses." He described 10 percent increase in salaries and pensions as meager and insufficient.
The House will now meet on Monday. - NNI