PTI government took office on 20th August 2018 and completes its 600 days on 19 April 2020.
Prime Minister Imran Khan promised lowering national debt, improving situation of government hospitals, progressive taxation, transforming PM House into University in his first address
PTI government completes 600 days in office on 19th April 2020. In order to see what has happened since then, Fact File is producing a special report on the occasion.
Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed the nation on 20th August 2018. He made some promises as he began his government. Here are some of the major promises during the first address to nation:
READ: Be Aware: Pakistan Is Yet To See Corona Virus Peak By April 30 https://www.fact-file.com/2020/04/12/be-aware-pakistan-is-yet-to-see-corona-virus-peak-by-april-30/
- Resolve the issue of our national debt
- Work on children’s health, especially stunting issue
- Work on Climate Change
- Run austerity drive
- Enhance the tax base
- Reform the judicial system and ensure speedy disposal of civil cases within a year
- Bring about police
- Improve the education standards in the government schools
- Improve the conditions in government-run hospitals.
- Introduce Agricultural Reforms
- Reintroduce Merit Policy
- Replicate KP’s Local Government System in Punjab
- Construct five million low cost housing units
- Create job opportunities for youth
- Kick-start a massive tree plantation campaign all over the country
- Development of Neglected Areas
Initial Days in Office
Initially, the performance was not as satisfactory as it was expected. It seems like they do not know what they are dealing with. Later on, the government told the nation about different problems it is facing. The government wanted to get the nation in confidence. The emphasis came on telling about the economic situation, trade deficit, dollar price, and loan history.
This was the first time a third party won elections with a large number of seats in center and in two provinces. They form up the government in federal and three provinces by an alliance with two other parties. However, the inexperience of senior leadership became a major hurdle.
A team of technocrats were taking the governmental agenda forward. A few new faces also came in the leadership. Several committees were starting work on innovative projects. The PM House sold its cows and a few cars. An effort began to turn PM House into a university. However, things seem different as PTI government completes 600 days in office.
The main priority of any state is to provide fundamental rights to citizens. Health, education and better food is the requirement of each citizen. Poverty is always the biggest challenge for every government but they could not do a lot on it. Oil prices, utility bills and daily use item prices rise up.
PTI’s major promises include dealing with the debt crisis and lowering of national debt. However, it was very soon that the government could realize that things were getting out of their hands.
Despite returning the huge loan amount, they had no option other than making a new deal with the IMF to return the previous loan. Their first finance minister lost his job. There were allegations that it was part of the deal with IMF.
Thus, PTI could not achieve this promise as it wasn’t possible. It put the blame on previous governments for looting the tax money and corruption. And continues to do so until the 600th day.
Later, after setting up all economic issues, a new challenge came up in the form of FATF. The FATF put Pakistan on grey list. They give several tasks to perform so that Pakistan could get rid of the grey list.
Fight against Corruption
In their election campaign, PTI promised to arrest all corrupt mafias in the country. Apparently, the biggest challenge for PTI government is also corruption. As they run their campaign against corruption, they changed the NAB law. There are continuous allegations of political victimization instead of accountability. A number of opposition leaders are in headlines for being under NAB radar. Those with the PTI are untouchables.
Fight against Poverty
PTI’s score in fight against poverty has been relatively high. The government could re-brand the poverty alleviation and social support programs into a single platform as Ehsaas Program. The Ehsaas encompasses different entities including BISP, PPAF, Pakistan Bait-ul-Maal, Panagah, etc.
Under the program, relief packages were redesigned. BISP retrieved out around 8 lac people who were taking money despite not being poor. A number of other integrated approaches were adopted to fight against poverty under this program.
For the first time in history, Shelter Homes are set up in different cities for homeless people. These are Panagahs. They provide free food for poor people.
READ: PM Focal Person For Panagahs Calls On Imran Khan https://www.fact-file.com/2020/03/26/pm-focal-person-for-panah-ghah-called-on-imran-khan/
An Emergency Cash Grant is also disbursed to over 10 million Pakistanis under this program to protect the poor during corona virus pandemic. It is one-of-its-kind program which has helped millions in these testing times. The program has been praised globally.
It shows that Ehsaas is the highest performing program of PTI’s 600 days in government.
There is not much change in the educational infrastructure of the country. However, a few steps are being taken to incorporate a single curriculum for all. Education for all remins a distant dream.
On the other hand, the health facilities are improving across the country. Insaf Health Cards are given to the needy persons that allows one to get treatment up to PKR 7 lacs .
In his first address, Prime Minister made clear that he wanted friendly relations with neighbors and stay out of conflicts. The PTI government has to face serious challenges with regards to international relations. The Indian Government continues aggressive approach towards Pakistan. It also initiated Kashmir crisis by remving Article 370 from Indian constitution. Moreover, a war could erupt, had PTI taken any miscalculated step in February 2019.
An Indian plane was shot down by Pakistan Air Force. It created a war stage between Pakistan and India. However, Pakistan’s decision to return the Indian pilot defused the situation.
Overall, PTI made distinct and clear foreign policy. They are promoting good relations worldwide and promoting tourism for the country. The ease of visa policies for all tourists around the world is also enforced.
Corona Virus Pandemic
At the beginning of 2020, PTI had to face another challenge in form of a global pandemic. The government is fighting the pandemic by a controlled lock down. It is partially managing economy and utilizing data to quarantine the infected patients. Although criticized by many, this policy has been fruitful as it ensures food for poor and protection for all.
Has PTI failed or succeeded?
The supporters of PTI are correct to say that this is their first ever government in the country, yet there are many achievements. However, when taken vis-a-vis previous governments, PTI’s government response has been less satisfactory.
The government is still unable to hold its key people in the office. Recently, their key man for FBR reforms has suddenly left. The portfolio of ministers keeps changing. This shows the uncertainty in government.
Though it is too early to give a verdict, but PTI is putting all out efforts to bring about the needful changes in the system. Let’s hope it is able to do it.