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web Desk

The Nation

Published Date: Jan 1, 2021

PM approves online agri dashboard by NSD in order to monitor food prices

On Thursday, Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved the online agri-dashboard developed by National Security Division, which will monitor food prices and availability of commodities at national, provincial and district levels. The Dashboard will use authentic indicators to prevent any food crisis and will also be effective in preventing hoarding and profiteering.

Urgent measures would be taken to control inflation of items such as flour, sugar and pulses. He stressed the need to increase exports and find local alternative to imports to ensure increase of current account surplus. PM’s Special Assistant Dr. Moeed Yousuf, Secretaries of the ministries concerned and senior officials were present at the meeting, whereas chief secretaries of the four provinces participated via video-link.

On the direction of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the areas which have been given a priority status include food security, agriculture, electricity, manpower, foreign investment, privatization, information technology and exports to implement major reforms in six sectors that faced neglect in the past. According to PM Office, there will be a weekly review meeting chaired by the Prime Minister, where he will be given briefings on the progress of these meetings.

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Moreover, the PM also announced extension to fixed tax regime for construction sector by one year He said that banks will extend all possible cooperation for the construction of low cost houses and loans will be provided for low cost houses at the rate of 5 percent to 7 percent. While informing the people about the important decisions for the construction sector said that the government has extended the fixed tax regime for the construction sector by one year.

He said that master plans were being prepared for bigger cities to prevent unplanned spread of urbanization and to protect agri land and in the first phase, Rs 300,000 will be provided at the start of construction of 100,000 houses. He said unplanned spread of cities can create food security problems for Pakistan in future if this practice is continued unabated. The prime minister said that all the banks have agreed to provide loans till December 2021 for construction sector in Pakistan, adding that Rs 378 billion have been kept for affordable housing in Pakistan.

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Imran Khan went on to say that economic activities of around Rs 1,500 billion will be started in Punjab only and will generate around 250,000 jobs as a result of massive package announced by the government for the construction sector. “So far 186 construction projects have been registered on the FBR portal, while work on projects worth Rs 163 billion has already begun,” he said.

He said that records of government lands in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad would be compiled and the digitization of the three cities will be completed by August next year. The master plan will remove barriers to sewerage and water supply.Imran Khan said a subsidy of Rs 30 billion will be provided to low income people enabling them to get their own house under affordable housing scheme, adding that loan subsidy at the interest rate of five and seven percent respectively will be available on houses of five Marla and above.