Increasing jobs is govt’s top priority: PM Imran

Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Friday his government’s top priority was to boost economic growth and create jobs for youth.

Chairing a high-level meeting on the upcoming budget for fiscal year 2020-21, PM Imran said the coronavirus pandemic has affected almost every segment of the society and hampered efforts to stabilise the economy and boost economic growth.

The premier’s economic team — led by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh — briefed him on the current strategy to implement the government’s priorities keeping in view the revenue, expenditure, and the ground realities of the upcoming budget.

PM Imran said slashing the non-development expenditures — especially a reduction in the unnecessary government cost — had been a priority of the incumbent leadership from day one. In view of the current situation, special attention was the need of the hour to take this goal forward.

“Given these realities, the government’s top priority is now to promote those sectors that create jobs for the youth and boost the economic growth,” he said.

With regard to subsidies given in various sectors and the government’s move to provide financial assistance to the deserving people amid the coronavirus pandemic, the prime minister said the cash-based handouts were in fact from the taxpayers’ money.

He explained that Pakistan’s current economic situation, including the impact from the coronavirus pandemic, demanded the pace of reform be accelerated so that any unnecessary burden on the people could be minimized and they could be provided relief.