PML(N)’s Achievements in its First Tenure (November 1990 – April 1993)
PMl(N)’s first tenure lasted for only two and a half years, from November 1990 to April, 1993, it will be remembered for its wide ranging reforms and far reaching decisions as listed below:
Program of deregulation
A major programme of deregulation was implemented to abolish the import licensing system, remove restrictions on the movement of foreign exchange and grant new incentives for local and foreign investment in industries
The telecommunication sector was opened to private investment which led todoubling of telephone connections within two years, from 800,000 in 1991 to 1.7 million in 1993 (and 4 million by 1999), thus virtually eliminating the long waiting list for telephone connections. The first fiber optic infrastructure for telecommunication was also installed during this period.
The Power Generation capacity was increased from 9,770 MW in June 1990 to 10,600 MW in June 1993 with 1.5 million new electricity connections. A major hydel power project i.e. Ghazi Barotha with a capacity of 1,400 MW was also approved during this period. An agreement was also signed with China for the first 300 MW Chashma Nuclear Power Project.
In the road infrastructure sub-sector, apart from dualizing N-5 National Highway between Peshawar and Karachi, the construction of first motorway in South Asia (M-2 from Lahore to Islamabad) was started in 1992 and completed in November 1997.
Intensive work was undertaken to set up a major port at Gwadar on the Makran Coast along with a coastal road to connect Gwadar to Karachi.
Modernization of Airports
After completing a modern airport at Karachi, the project to construct the Allama Iqbal International Airport at Lahore was also approved during this period.
To initiate reversal of the disastrous consequences of the policy to nationalize the banking sector in 1974, two of the five nationalized banks (MCB and ABL) were privatized in 1991. In addition, major reforms were introduced to allow 10 new banks and 20 investment companies in the private sector in 1992. At that time, the Pakistani rupee was the strongest currency in South Asia.
The Water Accord (MArch 1991)
The Water Accord of March 1991 not only resolved a 70-year old dispute regarding the apportionment of the waters of the Indus system but also opened the door for taking up many new water development projects which had been held in abeyance because of this dispute.
NFC Award 1991
The NFC Award 1991 was also the first award after 17 years, announced by a democratically elected government on the basis of inter-provincial consensus. Under this Award, the payment of net hydel project to NWFP and other Provinces was started for the first time to implement Article 161 of the Constitution. Similarly, Baluchistan started receiving surcharge levied on natural gas from 1991 onwards.
The allocations for social sectors i.e. primary education, primary health care, drinking water schemes and population welfare programme were more than doubled under the Social Action Programme launched in 1992.
Distribution of Lands to Landless Haaris
A major programme of distributing state land to the landless haaris of Sindh was initiated in 1992.
PML(N)’s Achievements in its Second Tenure (February 1997 – October 1999)
In the second aborted tenure of the PML(N) Government, from February 1997 to October 1999, the overall investment climate was adversely affected by many external factors like the Asian Economic Crisis of 1997 and the international sanctions imposed on Pakistan in June 1998 after the nuclear tests. Nevertheless, the government boldly took up the unfinished agenda of its earlier tenure, with many notable achievements to its credit:
Nuclear Tests May 1998
The most outstanding achievement of the PML(N) Government, in its second tenure was the historic decision to carry out nuclear tests in May 1998, with far-reaching domestic, regional and international consequences. Pakistan became the seventh nuclear nation of the World and restored its strategic balance with India.
Incentive Package for Agriculture Sector
In April 1997, a new incentive package was announced for the agriculture sector to improve the terms of trade for the sector by ensuring that the prices paid by the farmers for inputs were in line with the prices they received for their crops. The support price of wheat was raised by 40%, resulting in a bumper crop of 22 million tons two years later, yielding an exportable surplus of 3 million tons.
Capital Market Reforms
In May 1997, far-reaching capital market reforms were announced to convert the outdated Corporate Law Authority into a Security and Exchange Commission with new powers to regulate the capital markets, oversee the modernization of the stock exchanges and broaden the investor base.
Reforms in Banking and Financial Sector
In June 1997, significant reforms were announced in banking and financial sector to turn around sick public sector banks, accelerate the process of financial liberalization, expand reliance on market-based instruments and strengthen the autonomy of the State Bank of Pakistan. In the next few weeks, five major laws were passed or amended by Parliament to give effect to these reforms. Leading Pakistani professionals were appointed as CEOs in these banks, government directors were withdrawn from the three remaining government-owned banks, which succeeded in reducing the portfolio of stuck up loans by Rs. 28 billion and also increased their profits.
In 1998, Pakistan 2010 Program was launched to transform Pakistan’s economy into a knowledge economy that is knowledge-led, globally competitive, robust, just and enterprising.
First IT Policy
Pakistan’s first national IT policy was launched to transform Pakistan into major information super power
Abolishment of Special Permits
The system of special import permits was abolished including duty-free import of 3,000 CC vehicles for VIPs.
Abolishment of Discretionary powers
Discretionary powers for allocation of textile quotas were abolished, and a transparent system of public auction was introduced resulting in a 450% of increase in revenues.
Abolishment of Octroi and Zila Taxes
The oppressive system of octroi and zila taxes was abolished and local authorities were provided corresponding resources.
The requirement of obtaining a license for keeping a radio was also abolished.
Loans for Widows
Loans of widows with no income or property were written-off in a transparent manner.
The Population Census which was due in 1991 was delayed due to the controversy generated by the exaggerated figures of housing census in October 1991. The PML(N) Government took up the challenge and conducted a highly successful and peaceful census in March 1998. The results were also a pleasant surprise. The total population in 1998 was 132 million and not 140 million as projected, showing a much-needed slow-down in the rate of population growth
One important byproduct of the census was NADRA, the National Database and Registration Authority. The census form had been redesigned to include 33 questions to provide a national database. NADRA was set up in April 1998, to take over and process all the data forms. The Authority has not only been issuing Computerized ID Cards, but is also providing a wide range of services to the government and the public.
PML(N)’s Achievements in Punjab (2008 To 2012)
The PML(N) government assigned highest priority to socio-economic development in Punjab to improve the living standards of the common man with special focus on poverty alleviation, bringing the deprived segments into the main stream and focusing on the less developed areas of Punjab especially Southern Punjab. In addition ensuring good governance has been a key priority of the Government. A summary of the main achievements of the Punjab Government during the period March 2008 to September 2012 is presented below:
Education had been a key priority area. Schemes like Danish Schools at six locations and distribution of 125,000 laptops to top students are unique in nature as these as aimed at providing equal opportunity to children from low income families. Other activities include IT labs in 4,286 schools, initiation of Punjab Educational Endowment Fund, recruitment of teachers through competitive examinations on open merit. In Vocational & Technical Education, the provincial capacity has more than doubled in the last two years and now over 130,000 skilled workers are getting jobs annually.
Ashyana Housing Scheme
Ashiyana Housing Scheme was introduced by the government to provide opportunities for low income people to own their house and pay the cost in easy installments.
PML(N) government has taken up several projects to improve transportation systems with enhanced commuting networks. Schemes like Bus Rapid Transport System, Yellow Cab Scheme will bring major relief to the people. Similarly, Lahore Kasur Road, multiple flyovers in Lahore, Multan, Rawalpindi and Bahawalpur, and completion of Multan Road and Circular Road has reduced congestion on these roads.
Provision of better medical facilities to the masses is another priority of the Punjab Government. Many reforms have been made in the health system for making it poor friendly. Besides this comprehensive and practical measures have been taken for up gradation of the existing infrastructure. Availability of doctors along with modern medical equipment has been ensured in these hospitals. Health budget has been increased manifolds in the last 4 years. Mobile health units have been launched in remote districts of Punjab to provide affordable and timely healthcare facilities to the poor segment of the society. Four new medical colleges are being set up in Sialkot, Sahiwal and D.G.Khan. An increase of 482 seats in the existing medical colleges has been achieved. Emergency measures to control epidemic of Dengue have been taken to control the Dengue fever.
Model Villages for Flood Affectees
Punjab was worst hit by the floods in 2010. The PML(N) government ensured that all the affected people are rehabilitated in the shortest possible time. 22 Model Villages with all basic facilities were constructed in the affected areas of Southern Punjab and all possible help was offered by the government to affected people. Also, Command and Communications Center was set up in Punjab Disaster Management Authority for taking rapid action during floods.
The PML(N) government has announced comprehensive and long-term reform package for the empowerment of women in the social, economic and legal fields by providing them their legitimate rights and including them in the process of development and progress of the nation. Under the package, the condition and transfer of land, among heirs in rural areas has been waived to eliminate the possibilities of usurpation of ancestral property of women, provision of Form-B has been made mandatory, 33% quota for women has been fixed in all government institutions, commercial loans for women entrepreneurs worth Rs. 2 billion has been set up.
Economic and Industrial Zones
Similarly, special economic zones and industrial estates have been set up for the promotion of foreign and local investments. CM Punjab has visited China, Iran and Turkey to promote foreign investment in Punjab. Various government sectors and private sector investors have been persuaded to come and invest in Punjab. A good example of these efforts is the setting up of the Lahore Waste Management Company, the BRT system. The present era is known as an era of diplomacy and investment. Punjab Board of Investment and Trade has been set up in Punjab to provide facilitation and promotion of foreign investments in Punjab. Multiple industrial estates are being constructed in Faisalabad, Multan, Rahim Yar Khan, Bhalwal, Vehari, and along the Motorway to encourage industrialization in Punjab. This will generate thousands of jobs for skilled and semi-skilled workers in Punjab.
, A self-employment scheme for unemployed skilled youth of Punjab has been launched in 2011 with an initial capital of Rs. 1 billion. Short term (2 years) interest-free loans of up to Rs.50,000 are being given to skilled workforce encouraging them to become entrepreneurs. Additional funds are being provided to this scheme to increase its reach to rural areas of Punjab.
Lahore Meat Processing Complex
Lahore Meat Processing Complex has been setup as a joint project of Punjab Agriculture Meat Company and Mashad Meat Industrial Complex of Iran. This is a state-of-the-art slaughter house and meat processing facility having capacity to handle 1,000 large and 10,000 small animals on a daily basis. Halal meat will be provided to local and international markets from this facility. In addition to this, Punjab Livestock and Dairy Development Board has been set up to enhance the milk and meat production of Punjab.
Punjab Forensic Science Agency
Punjab Forensic Science Agency is the second largest and modern agency in South Asia. This lab would go a long way in providing assistance in scientific based investigations into heinous crimes, besides providing provision of prompt justice, detection and arrest of criminals and for the eradication of crime from Punjab. Very soon a start of the art DNA Index system is being added to this laboratory.
Model bazaars were setup in all the districts of Punjab to provide affordable shopping facilities to the low income families in Punjab. So six bazaars are functional and remaining under construction.
Citizen Feedback Model
Citizen Feedback Model, the first such effort in the world, has been introduced in all districts in targeted services of revenue, police and healthy departments to fight petty corruption, increase citizen engagement and enhance monitoring of day to day service delivery.
Mass Transit Project (Metro Bus Service)
Pakistan’s first 27 km Mass Transit Project (Metro Bus Service) was successfully launched in Lahore, in a record period of 11 months with a cost of Rs. 29.7 billion.