#2020InReview – Pakistan's initiatives in the year 2020

10:55 PM | 4 Jan, 2021
#2020InReview – Pakistan's initiatives in the year 2020
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ISLAMABAD – The year 2020 was said to be the worst around the world, while Pakistan took several initiatives in various fields during this year which include many projects of public welfare, socio-economic development, and enhancing the country's image across the globe.

Combatting Covid-19 Pandemic

Starting from the response to the COVID pandemic, the NCOC was formed to serve as a central command center to combat the novel disease. Rs1.2 trillion COVID Relief Package, Rs180 billion disbursed through Ehsaas Emergency Cash while many other economic measures were taken in the early phase.

Pakistan introduced smart lockdown to avoid getting huge economic losses. Construction Industry Package was introduced to ensure employment for daily wagers. World Health Organisaion acknowledged Pakistan's plan to combat the coronavirus.

Welfare State

Ehsaas Kafaalat was launched for 7 million families while several other programs like Ehsaas Amdan Program, Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarships, Ehsaas Nashonuma were initiated to counter the poverty-stricken challenges. Rs180 billion were disbursed during COVID to at least 15 million families. 

Health

Sehat Sahulat Card, which covered Rs10 lac/year health coverage for every family, started for Punjab, KPK, including ex-FATA districts, entire Azad Jammu Kashmir, and Gilgit Baltistan. Locally made ventilators and cardiac stents were introduced.

Isolation Hospital and Infectious Treatment Centre were inaugurated in federal capital while key projects like Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar were rolled out to facilitate poor peoples.

DHQ Hafizabad and Chakwal groundbreaking were also held while a 250-bed Peshawar Institute of Cardiology was also inaugurated by the government.

Education

The first-ever Single National Curriculum was commenced for a fair and equal opportunity to receive high-quality education for all students.

Groundbreaking of University of Hafizabad, Chakwal, Namal Knowledge City, and Sialkot University of Applied Engineering and Technology was held while Pak-Austria Facchochschule Institute inaugurated in Haripur.

Climate

Pakistan introduced the largest forest of Pakistan in Mianwali launched with 250 million trees target.

Monsoon Tree Plantation campaign was launched while the largest tree plantation drives in Pakistan's history. Premier initiated the Billion Tree Honey project whereas the locust attack was tackled effectively.

KP launched travel responsibly for Eco-tourism (TREK) Initiative. Prime Minister also addressed at the UN biodiversity Summit.

Development Projects

Naya Pakistan Housing 20,000 housing units worth Rs. 100 billion was inaugurated. Allama Iqbal Industrial City Faisalabad groundbreaking was held in the same year.

Delayed BRT inauguration also occurred in the year 2020 whereas the government also announced the Karachi Transformation Plan.

Ravi Urban Development Project along with with2 mega-dams, Diamer-Basha, and Mohmand are underway.

Special Economic Zones initiated under CPEC whereas Quaid-e-Azam Business Park Sheikhupura and Chakwal Northern Bypass were also rolled out.

Diplomacy

Qatar, Malaysia visited by Prime Minister. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also visited Pakistan in the same year.

PM Imran Khan's made first visit to Kabul while Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Taliban Political Commission, Abdullah Abdullah visited Pakistan in the year 2020.

Other achievements include US-Taliban Peace Agreement in Feb 2020; Commencement of Intra Afghan Negotiations in Sep 2020; Agreement on Rules & Procedures b/w Afghan parties in Doha in Dec 2020.

Under 2-yearly review of Pakistan Citizens Portal, Foreign Office stood out as the most responsive institution towards complaints registered.

Economy

Current Account Balance (Jul-Nov) $1.6 billion SURPLUS (FY21) $7.2 billion DEFICIT (FY18) 

Remittances (Jul-Nov)$11.8 billion 27%

Exports (Jul-Dec)$12.1 billion 5%

Large Scale Manufacturing (July-Oct) 6.7%

Foreign Exchange Reserves crossed $13 billion, highest since February 2018

Textile industry operating at full capacity, 80,000 power looms opened (50,000 old re-opened, 30,000 new ones). Cement industry operating at full capacity, witnessing record orders. Vehicle, motorbikes, rickshaw sales rising. Tax revenue rising. Energy Relief Package for industries to encourage exports for sustainable economic growth.

*Figures quoted by Radio Pakistan

Legislations and reforms

Pakistan introduced legislation against money laundering, terrorism, and sexual crimes.

The government also announced to conduct Senate Elections through the open ballot and next General Elections via e-voting, and provisional provincial status for Gilgit-Baltistan. 

Kashmir

Besides marking Kashmir Solidarity Day (Feb 5), Kashmir Martyrs Day (Jul 13), Kashmir Youm-e-Istehsaal (Aug 5) and Kashmir Black Day (Oct 27), PM Imran Khan twice addressed Kashmir Legislative Assembly.

Targets for 2021

PM Imran's New Year resolutions are universal health coverage for all citizens through Sehat Sahulat Program and that no Pakistani should go to bed hungry ("Koi Pakistani bhooka na soye") for which a new project is to be launched soon under Ehsaas Program.