- Premier inaugurates expansion of Bacha Khan Airport in Peshawar
PESHAWAR: Describing the proposed KP-FATA merger as a revolutionary step, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday said that it would not only benefit the people of FATA but would also strengthen the country.
“I know there are different opinions on this subject, but the ultimate decision would be taken keeping in view the country’s interest as well as the aspirations of FATA people,” he said while addressing the inauguration ceremony of 132 KV Grid Station in Tehsil Jamrud of Khyber Agency.
The prime minister said that the consultation continued on KP-FATA merger over the last three-and-a-half months and even today, there was a lengthy meeting on the subject, adding that the National Assembly and Senate would take the decision in the interest of the people of tribal areas.
He said it was a long process involving financial and administrative measures.
Under the proposed merger, FATA would be provided Rs100 billion per annum for the next ten years as against the current Rs25 billion to bring this area as well as the people at par with other areas of the country in terms of education, health, infrastructure and other facilities.
He said that Pakistan Army was extending full support in the implementation of FATA reforms.
Separately, PM Abbasi on Wednesday also said that with a 6 per cent GDP growth in the fiscal year 2017-18, and fast development of infrastructure and tackling energy issues over the last five years, the PML-N government had established a solid economic base for the country.
“Today, Pakistan is presenting itself as a model of high-growth,” the prime minister said while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the expansion of Bacha Khan Airport in Peshawar.
He said that the present government had introduced unprecedented income tax reforms in the budget for FY 2018-19 under which the slab of income tax exemption had been increased from Rs400,000 to Rs1,200,000 giving maximum relief to the salaried class.
The prime minister, however, added that since no country in the world could progress without a solid tax base, there was a need to raise the number of taxpayers from the current 0.7 million to 7 million to put Pakistan in the list of developed countries.