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The News

Published Date: Apr 25, 2013

PPP vows to complete unfinished agenda, double Benazir income scheme

Leaders
of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) have pledged to complete their unfinished
agenda if came to power again in upcoming general elections.

They
said the PPP was able to deliver on most of its manifesto points but could not
implement some promises due to interventions from certain quarters.

Senator
Saleem Mandviwala and Senator Saeed Ghani were speaking at a policy seminar on
the PPP manifesto organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).
It was the 8th in series of seminars planned to bring manifestos of political
parties into discussion and assess their impact on electorates.

The
PPP leaders said their election manifesto guaranteed provision of basic need to
every citizen, empowerment of all citizens, inclusive growth, infrastructure
development for future, new social contract, ensuring security and positive
engagement of international community.

Presenting
the manifesto, Senator Saleem Mandviwalla started with the provision of basic
needs to citizens. He said: “The PPP pledges to increase education expenditure
to 4.5 percent of GDP and would bridge the public-private and regional gaps in
quality of education through establishment of ‘National Education Standard
Council’.”

Providing
glimpses on the PPP plan for inclusive and equitable growth he said, “The party
would strive to reduce the budget deficit to less than 4 percent of GDP and
would seek to adopt prudent policies to ensure current expenditure under
control,” adding that growth rate of 6 percent would be achieved, GDP to saving
would be increased to 15 percent, inflation would be kept under 6 percent, debt
would be reduced to 60 percent, remittances would be increased to 2 billion
whereas exports would be enhanced to $50 billion per annum in next 5 years.

Mandviwala
said that Benazir Income Support Programme has proved to be a successful social
protection system and the PPP is planning to double the monthly payments under
the programme.

About
the unemployment issue he said, “One million jobs would be created annually
along with promotion of entrepreneurship for providing livelihood to the
people.”

On
energy crisis, Mandviwala admitted the shortcomings for not being able to
resolve the crisis but blamed interventions for failure in not implementing
their energy policy.

Senator
Saeed Ghani talked on social contract of the PPP manifesto and said, “Health spending
would be increased to 5 percent of GDP.”

“The
party has vowed to eradicate polio and announced to launch ‘Mother and Child
Care Support Programme’,” he said, which would be the flagship healthcare
package for the underprivileged.

The
senator said, “The PPP aims to bring down the population growth rate from 2 to
1.6 percent by 2018.”

He
expressed that for the first time in Pakistan, the PPP has proposed 4 reserved
seats for workers in National Assembly and 2 seats for workers in each
provincial assembly.

According
to him the manifesto also pledges to add one more seat in the parliament for
minorities in capital area.

“Our
party is committed to safeguard fundamental rights of every citizens and it
would continue to work on implementation on all international conventions and
treaties on human rights,” he added.

“There
is significant reduction in the cases of enforced disappearances and the PPP
has also introduced an Act in the parliament under which agencies are
answerable to citizens on missing person cases,” he included.

On
women empowerment, Senator Saeed Ghani was of the view that the PPP government
in the last 5 years passed number of legislation to protect women rights and
reduce violence against women.

He
said, “The PPP wants to further empower women through education,
entrepreneurship and anti-discriminatory and anti-harassment laws in the
country. He also talked of reforms in civil services, local government, police
and judiciary.

However,
Faryal Gohar, an acclaimed human right activist and member of Board of
Governors of the SDPI discussed that after completion of their tenure, the PPP
leaders are trying to find excuses for their failure.

Citing
Sri Lankan example, she said that even being in a state of the war for 30 years
they improved their health and education system.